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Components | December 19, 2011

Soitec acquires San Diego facility from Sony Electronics

Soitec purchases manufacturing facility in San Diego to locally produce CPV modules for the U.S. Renewable Energy market.
Soitec has purchased a manufacturing facility in Rancho Bernardo, Calif., within San Diego City limits, and will soon begin fitting the factory to produce its concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules for the U.S. renewable-energy market.

The site, acquired from Sony Electronics Inc., will enable a manufacturing capacity of 200 megawatts (MW) of Soitec's fifth generation Concentrix CPV modules and with future expansion to double the capacity to 400 MW per year.

This major project for Soitec represents an investment of more than $150-million and will create 450 on-site jobs ─ including employees for the joint venture ─ in the City of San Diego and more than 1,000 indirect jobs at full capacity (200 MW).

Soitec's investment includes the acquisition of a 176,000-square-foot manufacturing center on 14.8 acres of land located within the campus of Sony Electronics' U.S. headquarters. Soitec will begin extensive upgrade of the facilities in early 2012 and plans to have its first phase (100 MW) production line operational by the fourth quarter of 2012.

M+W U.S., Inc, a subsidiary of the M+W Group, has been selected as general contractor for the facility construction work.

Situated inside the San Diego factory will be the joint venture Reflexite Soitec Optical Technology LLC, previously announced last month. This new company will operate its own 100-person manufacturing operation within the facility developing and manufacturing leading-edge silicone-on-glass (SOG) Fresnel lens plates used in Soitec's CPV modules.

Soitec's highly efficient, durable CPV systems have enabled the company to plan for more than 300 MW in solar power plant projects throughout the Southwest U.S. including 155 MW in power purchase agreements with San Diego Gas & Electric, approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last month.

Additionally, a power purchase agreement for up to 150 MW for the Imperial Solar Energy Center West project, another project that currently proposes to use Soitec's CPV technology, was also approved by the CPUC on December 15. Tenaska Solar Ventures, LLC, an affiliate of independent energy company Tenaska, is developing that project.
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