Soitec announces major U.S. CPV solar power project

Tenaska Solar Ventures Selects Soitec’s Concentrix CPV Solar Power Technology To Produce 150 Megawatts of Clean Energy For San Diego Gas & Electric

Soitec will build a new 200MW CPV manufacturing facility in the San Diego region.

Bernin, France and San Diego, CA, March 10, 2011 — Soitec (Euronext Paris), a world-leading supplier of advanced solutions for the electronics and energy industries, today announced that its Concentrix concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) technology has been selected by Tenaska Solar Ventures to produce 150 megawatts (MW) of clean energy for San Diego Gas & Electric. The new CPV solar power plant, named Imperial Solar Energy Center (ISEC) West, will be constructed on a 1057-acre site in Southern California’s western Imperial County, and is expected to be completed in 2015.
To support the project, Soitec will build a new factory in the San Diego region to manufacture its proprietary CPV modules. With an annual production capacity of 200 MW, the new CPV manufacturing facility will supply CPV modules not only to ISEC West, but to other utility-scale solar power projects throughout the desert southwest of the U.S.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) signed a 25-year power-purchase agreement with a subsidiary of CSOLAR Development, LLC, a renewable energy company managed by Tenaska Solar Ventures that will develop and operate the ISEC West solar power plant. The ground-mounted concentrated photovoltaic power plant will have a capacity of 150 MW of solar generated electricity. The ISEC West project will produce enough electricity to meet the annual electricity needs of approximately 55,000 California homes. Concentrated photovoltaic technology converts sunlight directly into “clean” electricity via concentrator optics and high efficiency solar cells that neither produce noise nor emit greenhouse gases. Additionally, CPV technology requires no water for ongoing operations, a crucial consideration for the water-constrained Imperial Valley. Finally, the ISEC West project represents a significant economic investment in Imperial County, one that will create hundreds of jobs in the area.

“The start of construction of the Sunrise Powerlink has triggered a wave of proposed new utility-scale solar and wind projects in the Imperial Valley region,” said James Avery, SDG&E’s senior vice president of power supply. “What is unique about this contract is that not only will the Imperial Valley benefit from the jobs created to construct the solar plant, San Diego will benefit from the approximately 450 new jobs that will be created at the new manufacturing facility that will be located here in the region. SDG&E’s voluntary commitment to obtain 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020 is creating new jobs in both the Imperial Valley and here in San Diego, and we are proud of this accomplishment.”

Concentrix CPV solar power systems are more efficient and perform better than conventional solar systems, particularly at locations with extremely hot ambient temperatures and dry weather conditions. Because of the very low temperature coefficient of its multijunction solar cells, a CPV system’s performance is much less affected by temperature than any other photovoltaic technology. Additionally, a CPV system’s 2-axis tracker produces a high and constant power production output throughout daylight hours. According to Dave Fiorelli, President of Tenaska’s Development Group, “The ISEC West solar power plant will demonstrate Concentrix CPV scalability, and commercial viability of this innovative technology for utility scale deployment. We are excited to work with Soitec and SDG&E to bring clean energy to the homes and businesses of Southern California.”

“Soitec is extremely pleased that Tenaska Solar Ventures chose our Concentrix CPV technology for the ISEC West solar power plant,” adds André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Soitec. “Our CPV systems are perfectly suited for the very high solar irradiance prevalent in the Imperial Valley. As a CPV leader, we are very committed to the U.S. market and look forward to increasing our presence in the San Diego community by contributing to the emerging renewable energy ecosystem in the region.”

The ISEC West project has applied for a U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee. Upon receipt of the guarantee and closing of its agreement with Tenaska, Soitec will implement capacity investments to construct its San Diego area factory and pursue options for related financing. The factory location is anticipated to be announced this summer, with completion expected within 18 months of construction start. Soitec’s delivery of the CPV systems to the ISEC West solar power plant will begin in early 2013 and finish in 2015. At full capacity, Soitec’s San Diego operations will generate up to 450 jobs in the local area.



About Soitec
Soitec (Euronext Paris), an international manufacturing corporation produces very-high-performance materials for the semiconductor industry. Soitec’s market-leading products and technologies (Smart Cut™, Smart Stacking™, and Concentrix™) enhance the performance and energy efficiency of microelectronics-driven IT, telecommunications, automotive electronics, lighting products and solar power plants for large scale utilities. Soitec products include substrates for micro and nanoelectonics —most notably SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator) and  concentrator photovoltaic CPV systems. Soitec has manufacturing plants and R&D centers in France, Singapore, Germany, and the United States.
For more information, visit: www.soitec.com


About SDG&E
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 845,000 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 its 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.

 

About Tenaska Solar Ventures
Tenaska Solar Ventures, which manages CSOLAR Development, LLC, a renewable energy company, is dedicated to developing, owning and operating solar projects in North America.  Tenaska Solar Ventures is managed by Tenaska, an independent energy company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska that develops, constructs, owns, and operates non-utility generation and cogeneration plants.  The company also markets natural gas, biofuels and electric power, and provides risk management services in addition to being involved in asset acquisition, fuel supply, natural gas exploration, production and transportation systems, and electric transmission development.  Tenaska has developed approximately 9,000 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity across the United States.  Tenaska’s affiliates operate and manage eight power plants in six states totaling more than 6,700 MW of generating capacity owned in partnership with other companies.  Tenaska Capital Management, an affiliate, is the manager of private equity funds with approximately $4.4 billion in assets, including nine power plants (with approximately 5,400 MW of capacity) and multiple natural gas midstream assets, including gas storage, gathering, and processing facilities.  Tenaska is repeatedly listed in benchmarking studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council as having among the best fleet-wide records in the United States for controlling emissions.
For more information about Tenaska, visit www.tenaska.com



International Media Contact
Camille Darnaud-Dufour
+33 (0)6 79 49 51 43
camille.darnaud-dufour@soitec.fr

Investor Relations Contact
Olivier Brice
+33 (0)4 76 92 93 80
olivier.brice@soitec.fr

French Media Contact
Muriel Martin, H&B Communication
+33 (0)1 58 18 32 44
m.martin@hbcommunication.fr