Bernin (Grenoble), France, Oct. 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Soitec, a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials for the electronics and energy industries, has announced the inauguration of the Alcoutim concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) power plant by the Portuguese government's Secretary of State for Energy, Artur Trindade.

The inauguration took place on October 7 in the presence of Luxembourg-based energy supplier Enovos and the three other Portuguese project partners, namely the prestigious Calouste Gulbenkian private foundation, electrical contracting firm EIP (Electricidade Industrial Portugesa) and project developer Luz.On.

Located at a site in Alcoutim near the Vale do Guadiana National Park in southern Portugal, the plant consists of 82 CPV systems supplied by Soitec with 1.29 MWp in combined capacity. Construction of the facility was announced in December 2013. Its operations started up in spring 2014.

In this sun-rich region of Portugal, Soitec's CPV technology has demonstrated the full extent of its efficiency, with the modules manufactured by the Group delivering a yield of over 30 percent. With annual generation of 1,900 MWh, the plant provides sufficient electricity to meet the needs of several hundred homes in Portugal.

"We are delighted that Enovos, one of the major European energy suppliers already well established in Germany, Belgium, France and Italy, chose our CPV technology for this project, its first in Portugal. This power plant demonstrates the full potential of CPV, and has opened the way for other similar projects in southern Europe," said José Bériot, head of project development for Soitec's Solar Energy Division in southern Europe and Africa.

"This success also was made possible by the involvement of EIP and Luz.On, and I would like to express my thanks to them," he added. "Finally, I would like to thank the Calouste Gulbenkian foundation. Its philanthropic commitment in support of the arts, education and science needs no introduction. Since 2003, it has expanded its activities to include the environment and sustainable development. We are proud that this project received its support. It reflects the interest surrounding our CPV technology for optimizing solar energy generation."

About Soitec

Soitec is an international manufacturing company, a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials at the frontier of the most exciting energy and electronic challenges. Soitec's products include substrates for microelectronics (most notably SOI: Silicon-on-Insulator) and concentrator photovoltaic systems (CPV). The company's core technologies are Smart Cut(TM), Smart Stacking(TM) and Concentrix(TM), as well as expertise in epitaxy. Applications include consumer and mobile electronics, microelectronics-driven IT, telecommunications, automotive electronics, lighting products and large-scale solar power plants. Soitec has manufacturing plants and R&D centers in France, Singapore, Germany and the United States. For more information visit:

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Source: SOITEC