SAN DIEGO and BERNIN, France, May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and subsidiaries of Soitec Solar Development, LLC, a renewable energy company managed by Soitec (Euronext Paris), today announced the signing of two additional 25-year contracts for a total of 125 megawatts (MW) of solar energy to be generated in the utility's service territory. The energy will be produced using Soitec's Concentrix™ concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology with solar modules manufactured in a new Soitec factory to be built in the San Diego area.
These new agreements are separate from the three San Diego contracts the two companies signed in April for 30 MW of CPV-generated solar power. Combined, the five contracts SDG&E recently signed with Soitec represent five separate projects capable of generating a combined total of 155 MW of clean, renewable solar power, or enough energy to supply more than 60,000 homes. Both of the new proposed projects will be located in San Diego County and will be situated near SDG&E electric substations.
"Our projects with Soitec will bring local jobs to the community and will help us to meet our renewable energy goals," said James P. Avery, senior vice president of power supply for SDG&E. "We are very confident in our choice of technology and in Soitec's plans for a solar panel manufacturing facility in the San Diego region."
Today's announcement confirms the attractiveness of Soitec's renewable energy technology – which generates large amounts of power with industry-leading efficiency and low environmental impact – in areas such as Southern California with abundant sunshine.
"These new contracts with SDG&E reinforce Soitec's decision to build its new manufacturing site in the San Diego area, and confirms the importance of the U.S. market for our company," said Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Soitec. "We are very pleased to have a direct role in bringing 'home grown' solar energy to the people of San Diego."
Soitec's new manufacturing facility will have an annual production capacity of 200 MW and will supply all of SDG&E's projects with Soitec with the Concentrix CPV technology, which produces power at a much higher efficiency relative to standard solar panels. At full capacity, Soitec's San Diego operations facility will generate up to 450 direct jobs and more than 1,000 indirect jobs. The factory location is expected to be announced this summer, with completion within 18 months of construction start.
The power contracts require approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.
Soitec (Euronext Paris), an international manufacturing company, a world-leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials, at the frontier of the most exciting energy and electronic challenges. Soitec's products include substrates for micro and nanoelectronics (most notably SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator) and concentrating photovoltaic CPV systems. The company's core technologies are Smart Cut™, Smart Stacking™, and Concentrix™ as well as expertise in epitaxy. Applications include consumer and mobile electronics, microelectronics-driven IT, telecommunications, automotive electronics, lighting products and solar power plants for large scale utilities. Soitec has manufacturing plants and R&D centers in France, Singapore, Germany, and the United States. For more information, visit: www.soitec.com
SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric