SolFocus Receives Award from National Renewable Energy Laboratory
City of Mesa, Arizona to Serve as First Showcase of Technology Developed in the DOE/NREL PV Incubator Program
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., September 9, 2009 – SolFocus, the leading developer of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) systems, today announced that it has successfully completed its grant administered by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), under the PV Incubator Program.
The 18-month, $2.2 million subcontract was awarded in November 2007 by the Department of Energy to develop reflective optic-based CPV panels which would enable the reliable generation of solar energy at a large scale capable of being cost competitive with fossil fuels. After a final review at NREL's Golden, CO campus, the laboratory determined the SolFocus technology met or exceeded the program's requirements.
The optics developed under this program have been incorporated into the SolFocus 1100S CPV system which has recently transitioned into full scale commercialization, with 11MW of product being shipped this year and an estimated 100MW of manufacturing capacity in place by the end of 2011. "SolFocus successfully completed the 18-month aggressive Incubator Technology program," said NREL senior scientist Martha Symko-Davies. "They developed a highly innovative 650x concentrating PV module emphasizing high reliability and high efficiency."
The City of Mesa, Arizona will be the first showcase of this SolFocus technology developed through the NREL PV incubator program. Eleven SolFocus SF-1100S CPV arrays will be installed at the city's Central Arizona Project Water Treatment Plant. These arrays will interconnect with the Salt River Project's electric distribution system meter providing power to Red Mountain Park, across the street from the treatment facility.
"The city of Mesa is committed to developing renewable energy sources as part of its environmental sustainability program," explained Bill Jabjiniak, Director of Economic Development for the city. "SolFocus has become an important partner to the City of Mesa in its economic development efforts as well as in its sustainable energy initiatives." SolFocus recently completed an expansion of its Mesa glass reflector manufacturing factory with full production expected in the second half of 2009 and an annual payroll of more than $7.5 million.
The 92kW Central Arizona Project Water Treatment Plant is a pilot and initial endeavor for a long-term, private/public strategic collaboration that will demonstrate the technical and commercial viability and value of a larger scale, innovative approach to distributed generation.
The awarded funds build upon a series of commercial milestones for SolFocus: the close of Series C Funding earlier this month; the announcement of the SolFocus SF-1100S system in November; the largest CPV installation in Europe currently underway in Greece, the first certification of a CPV system to IEC 62108 standards, and the 15-fold capacity expansion of the company's manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona.
The SolFocus mission is to enable solar energy generation at a Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) competitive with traditional fossil fuel sources. To achieve this goal, SolFocus has developed leading concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology which combines high-efficiency solar cells (approaching 40%) and advanced optics to provide solar energy solutions which are scalable, dependable and capable of delivering on the promise of clean, low-cost, renewable energy. SolFocus is headquartered in Mountain View, California with European operations headquartered in Madrid, Spain, and manufacturing in Mesa, Arizona as well as with manufacturing partners in India and China.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.