EU PVSEC: Sol3g Update

Concentrator PhotoVoltaic (CPV) firm Sol3g absorbed by Abengoa Solar.

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When a quick search revealed a comment regarding Sol3g on the “CPV CEO Hotseat (Updated Oct 7)” Green Light blog post by Eric Wesoff for Greentech Media, my next post became clear.

Already owning a 25% stake in Sol3g, S.L., Abengoa Solar, S.A. acquired additional Sol3g founder shares and gained 78%+ majority control in 2008. This July, not long after Intersolar 2009 in Munich, Abengoa Solar decided to layoff most of the Sol3g staff (~90 people) including CEO Ricard Pardell leaving about five (5) people. As the above commenter noted, Mr. Pardell is another CPV CEO Hotseat veteran.

I observed something might be amiss when my follow up emails after Intersolar regarding the GiraSol GS700 and Sol3g ISFOC deployment status were not returned and later bounced.

As I understand it, Sol3g and Abengoa disagreed on whether deployments should be emphasized versus development efforts to improve and industrialize the CPV technology. Abengoa is supposed to have brought Sol3g development in house to their facilities.

From Dr. Pedro Banda, Director General of the ISFOC, I learned that Sol3g’s 2nd Phase ISFOC deployment is delayed until Abengoa completes the industrialization effort. However, the ISFOC deployment will move forward.

In addition to a portfolio of PV concentration technologies, Abengoa Solar is also an investor in Concentrix Solar and a joint venture partner in Concentrix Iberia S.A. (please see Concentrix Concentrator PhotoVoltaic System achieves 23% Efficiency).

I bumped into Ricard Pardell at the WATTPIC Energia Intel•ligent stand while touring the 24th EU PVSEC Exhibition. Mr. Pardell has joined WATTPIC as a partner and Sales and Marketing Director for the firm’s single and dual axis trackers. WATTPIC’s trackers adapt to strong winds using a weather vane effect turning into the wind until equalization is achieved. WATTPIC has embarked on an international expansion strategy focusing on North America, the Mediterranean, and Australia.

Although Mr. Pardell is still thinking about concentrators, he is content evangelizing the increased energy production (+43% for dual axis) of tracking solutions for silicon solar modules.

I was unable to obtain a response from Abengoa Solar about the Sol3g situation.

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