Soitec strikes Saudi CPV deal

Investment firm Khaled Juffali Company (KJC) has tied up with French semiconductor company Soitec to sell concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems in Saudi Arabia.

Under a joint-venture arrangement, Soitec will provide technical and commercial solar expertise, while KJC will offer introductions to "key local and regional stakeholders".

Soitec’s CPV technology – which uses lens-enhanced triple-junction PV cells – has shown around twice the performance of conventional PV technologies for high-volume power generation in regions like the Middle East that have "high direct normal irradiation". 

The KJC-Soitec MOU comes in time with Saudi Arabia's mounting push into renewable energy production, as outlined by the white paper published by the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, which highlighted the potential for solar, wind, geothermal and waste-energy projects in the Kingdom.

"Soitec has already demonstrated its ability to industrialise disruptive innovations with high-quality standards. Thanks to Soitec’s leading CPV technology, our partnership will have a true competitive advantage and help to realise the Kingdom’s high solar potential," states Sheik Khaled Juffali, founder and chairman of KJC.

Gaetan Borgers, executive vice president of Soitec’s solar power business unit, says: “KJC’s profile perfectly matches our need for a high-level Saudi partner with an in-depth understanding of how to build a long-term sustainable business in this very important country for us. 

"Solar energy will play a key role in meeting Saudi Arabia’s increasing electricity demand."

Soitec has a pipeline of CPV projects totalling hundreds of megawatts in the US and South Africa, and operates in 14 countries around the world, including a demonstration system at the Medina College of Technology in Saudi Arabia.