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News vFinal DR 2/9/09 11:12 Page 9
IMEC’s solar club to peer further
At the upcoming European Photovoltaic new opportunities for proprietary IP within
Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, the program.
IMEC will present a host of new partners
within its Silicon Solar Cell Industrial “Communicating the abundant
Affiliation program (IIAP). Among these opportunities for proprietary IP in solar
are MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., cell development is of utmost
Leybold Optics Dresden GmbH, Roth & importance,” says Jef Poortmans,
Rau AG and Mallinckrodt Baker B.V. Program Director Solar+ at IMEC. “Some
companies may be hesitating to join
IMEC’s recently launched IIAP is a multi- partnership programs, since they cannot
partner, private-public R&D program set differentiate in products based on
up to accelerate the development of technologies such as CMOS. However,
crystalline silicon solar cells that will lower IMEC’s new IIAP performs research on supported by the regional Flemish
production cost and cut the amount of mono-crystalline reference substrates. Government with a grant of 8.7 million
silicon per watt in half. The initiative The partners will fine-tune the results on euros for building the pilot line.
targets efficiencies of about 20 percent by their own substrates.”
exploring both wafer-based bulk-silicon “Our IIAP program,” Poortmans says,
and epitaxial cells. An integral part of IMEC’s solar cell “sets out to create fabrication processes
program is installing a state-of-the-art pilot for new generations of silicon solar cells.
With this ambitious but realistic goal, line that will allow all IIAP partners to Manufacturers as well as material and
IMEC brings together silicon solar cell conduct advanced solar-cell process equipment suppliers work with IMEC’s
manufacturers, as well as equipment and development in a semi-industrial solar experts and test on our pilot line.”
material suppliers, based on a strong environment. This will enable an efficient
partnership of sharing talent, risk and transfer of results directly to their
cost, intellectual property and creating production lines. IMEC’s IIAP program is
Lightening up
Los Angeles
Concentrated investment
First Solar has announced a contract
with the Los Angeles Department of
Circadian Solar, a developer of Dr Robin Godfrey, CEO of Circadian Water and Power (LADWP) to build a
concentrated photovoltaic technology Solar,added: “This funding will permit large-scale solar power project in
(CPV), is pleased to announce the Circadian Solar to complete its Imperial County, Calif. The installation
approval of an investment of £2m by commercial-scale demonstration and test will have a generation capacity of 55
Seven Spires Investments Ltd (SSIL). This system. It will also allow an important megawatts (MW).
is the release of the second tranche of an investment into a joint venture aimed at
investment of £8m planned to be rolled significantly reducing the cost of high- First Solar will design, engineer and
out over three years by SSIL. performance solar cell devices over the construct the 55MW Niland project
Issue IV 2009
next few years, as part of our drive to using its advanced thin film solar
lower the costs of CPV systems to grid modules. Construction is expected to
parity. We are delighted with the begin next year and be completed in
continuing support of SSIL.” 2011. The contract is conditioned on
approval by the Los Angeles City
Godfrey continued, “There’s a lot of Council and the mayor of Los Angeles.
exciting news for Circadian Solar at the The solar arrays will require building
moment, from our recent rebrand to the permits from Imperial County.
imminent set-up of a one kilowatt tracker
at our test site in the Mediterranean. And
of course that all comes in the context of
a real groundswell in the solar industry as
renewables come to play a larger role in
the world’s energy mix. But the benefits
Edward McCabe of SSIL said: “Circadian aren’t just applicable to the countries
Solar is well on target to become a major where these units will be established; with
player in the supply of CPV energy UK businesses like Circadian Solar
systems. They have achieved all technical forging ahead with CPV technology, the
and commercial milestones to date and associated advantages of manufacturing
we are pleased to release the next stage and job opportunities will be felt much
of funding for this exciting venture.” closer to home.”
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