SunPower has sold the first 70MW batch of cells for a series of concentrated PV (CPV) plants in Inner Mongolia, China, nearly a year and a half after establishing a joint-venture related to the projects.
the second largest US-based PV manufacturer, in late 2012 formed the JV with a
trio of Chinese partners with the intention of manufacturing and deploying its
proprietary “C7” concentrator technology in China.
batch – called “the first step in our aggressive efforts to break into the
Chinese market” by SunPower chief executive Tom Werner – will be installed at
two C7 projects going up in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, totaling 20MW and 100MW
due on line in 2015.
C7 technology employs a single-axis tracker and rows of parabolic mirrors that
reflect sunlight onto the company’s highly efficient third-generation PV cells,
thereby reducing the number of cells that need to be installed.
California-based company claims that just 70MW of its 24.5% Maxeon cells used
in conjunction with its C7 Tracker technology gives the equivalent output to
400MW of regular PV capacity.
has committed to investing $15m into the Chinese C7 joint venture, alongside
local partners Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor, Inner Mongolia Power and Hohhot
Jiqiao City Development – for a 25% stake in the business.
venture has already built a 300MW factory for its C7 receivers in Hohhot, with
a single 50MW production line currently in operation.
CPV is “on
the verge of a breakthrough in growth”, market researcher IHS recently claimed,
with the global market set to hit 1.3GW in the year 2020, compared to the 160MW
put up last year.
key developments, France’s Soitec recently reached the halfway mark at its 44MW
Touwsrivier project in South Africa.