Soitec invests $150 million in California solar module factory

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 19, 2011 3:33 AM
Soitec invests $150 million in California solar module factory

(Reuters) - French silicon company Soitec SA said it will invest more than $150 million in a manufacturing facility in California to produce concentrator photovoltaic modules (CPV) for the U.S. renewable-energy market.

The French company said the facility will have a manufacturing capacity of 200 megawatts (MW) of CPV modules. The company's CPV technology involves converting sunlight into electricity via concentrator optics and solar cells.

Soitec said it acquired the site in Rancho Bernardo, California from Sony Electronics Inc.

The company plans to double the plant's capacity to 400 MW per year and expects to operate its first-phase production line by the fourth quarter of 2012.

The project will create 450 on-site jobs and more than 1,000 indirect jobs at full capacity, the company said in a statement.

Soitec has more than 300 megawatts of solar power projects in development in the U.S. Southwest, including 155 MW of power purchase agreements with utility San Diego Gas & Electric, a unit of Sempra Energy.

(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Viraj Nair)