DOD contracts with French firm for 1 MW solar power demonstration system

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program signed a contract with French semiconductor firm Soitec, for a 1 MW AC solar energy project at Fort Irwin, California.

This demonstration solar power plant will provide on-site distributed generation for the Ft. Irwin military facility, which is home to the National Training Center and has a daily population of nearly 25,000. This concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant will offset the emission of almost 1,850 tons of carbon dioxide each year. Project planning is underway and construction is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

According to the DOD, 22 projects were competitively selected from the 468 proposals submitted to demonstrate emerging energy and water technologies on military installations through its Installation Energy Test Bed initiative. This initiative tests and evaluates innovative energy technologies that improve the DOD’s energy security and reduce its facility costs while meeting its renewable energy goals.

The energy will be produced using Soitec’s Concentrix 5th-generation CPV dual-axis tracking technology with 480 CPV solar modules manufactured in the company’s new North American manufacturing headquarters located in San Diego. The Soitec CX-S530 is designed to improve the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar power plants. With a module area of over 1,130 square feet, one Soitec CX-S530 system achieves a capacity of almost 30 kW peak.

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