June 10, 2013 - Soitec (Euronext) has installed a concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) demonstration plant in the isolated rural village of Usib near Rehoboth in central Namibia. The new 25- kilowatt installation has been connected to the grid of the national power utility, NamPower, and provides electricity for users including a rural school. Soitec and NamPower have entered into a cooperative agreement in which Soitec has constructed and operates the CPV plant and will transfer the knowledge gained as well as operations and maintenance duties to NamPower.
"Building a project such as this one allows us to demonstrate the real-world application of our CPV technology in hot and arid locations," said Gaetan Borgers, executive vice president of Soitec Solar Division. "Through our direct involvement, we also can express Soitec's commitment to improving educational opportunities and community life. Our environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative-energy solution provides not only a reliable source of electricity, but also local jobs. We are actively deploying our CPV systems in high solar irradiation regions around the world, and Namibia is a perfect example of that strategy."
Additionally Soitec's subcontractor Alensy has installed a solar water pump at the community garden to ensure there is sufficient water to irrigate up to one acre of crops. Funds from the sale of electricity generated by the power plant and injected into the grid will be credited to the school's electricity bill. The power plant will be in operation for at least 20 years.