ISFOC First Phase 1.7 MegaWatt Installations Underway

Tracking progress by Concentrating PhotoVoltaic (CPV) companies SolFocus, Concentrix Solar, and Isofotón.

On January 15, 2008, with SolFocus First to Install Solar Array for 3 MW Spanish CPV Project, SolFocus, Inc. and ISFOC, Instituto de Sistemas Fotovoltaicos de Concentración S.A. or Institute of Concentration Photovoltaics Systems, announced the completion of the first CPV solar array for the 3MW (MegaWatt) ISFOC project. For background on ISFOC, please see ISFOC 1.3MW CPV Power Plant tenders made public.

First SolFocus array at Puertollano, Castilla La Mancha – Spain
Photo Credit: SolFocus, Inc.

SolFocus’ first array has been installed near ISFOC in Puertollano, Castilla La Mancha – Spain, as part of the initial 200kW (kiloWatt) of their total 500kW ISFOC award. Per SolFocus:

SolFocus broke ground at the ISFOC Puertollano site in October of last year with the civil construction and underground electrical work. The SolFocus array that is installed is rated at 6.2kW and has performed over its design output, which is significant at the early stage of this project.

Photo Credit: Concentrix Solar GmbH

As of last Monday, Concentrix Solar’s CPV solar array installation at ISFOC in Puertollano was also moving forward, and Concentrix had completed 12 trackers with 5.75kW each for the project as shown in the above photo. These look similar to the main tracking solar arrays in Concentrix Solar Concentrator Proving Ground Slideshow.

Outside of ISFOC, per Concentrix Solar awarded the “Innovation Award of the German Economy” (Deutsch):

Concentrix Solar GmbH was awarded the 28th “Innovation Award of the German Economy” in the category of “Start-Up Companies”, distinguishing it as the company with the most promising innovation.

I also contacted Isofotón S.A., a subsidiary of the private Grupo Bergé, for an update on their installations in Puertollano. While Isofotón understood my request, they chose not to reply. Here is the last official news from Isofotón about the ISFOC project: Isofoton, first international company to pass tests required by the ISFOC, within the frameworks of the Standard EIC62108 certification for photovoltaic concentration modules (Español).

Alas, the big CPV news last week was from EMCORE Corporation (NASDAQ:EMKR) with a pair of deals including a 200MW to 700MW MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with solar new comer SunPeak Solar, LLC and several Spanish market agreements totaling $18 million. Here are the press releases:

EMCORE Corporation Enters Into A Multi-Year Agreement To Supply Solar Concentrator Photovoltaic Systems for Utility Scale Power Projects In The Southwestern US
EMCORE Receives Additional Orders To Supply Spanish Market With Its Concentrator Solar Photovoltaic Components And Systems

Please see Concentrating on the Southwest Sun by Rachel Barron at Greentech Media for background on the EMCORE
deal with SunPeak Solar.

I think an EMCORE MOU with a brand new photovoltaic project developer deserves further scrutiny. No financial terms or Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) were disclosed in the press release. At least the Southwestern United States has significant direct solar resources for CPV.

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