Soitec signs Saudi solar cooperation deal
Firm will work with Medina College to develop concentrating PV tech
France’s Soitec has reported that it has signed a cooperative agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Medina College of Technology (MCT) to foster applied research in concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) technology within the Kingdom. The three-year agreement will also incorporate a joint training programme on CPV within MCT’s curriculum.
As part of the deal, Soitec has installed a demonstration CPV system on the MCT campus, where It will be used to test the technology’s performance in the specific climatic conditions of the Middle East region.
The vice president of the Saudi Arabian Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) – of which MCT is a part – HE Dr Hamad bin Ogla Alogla said: “Our government estimates that demand for electricity in Saudi Arabia should exceed 120GW in 20 years. To meet these growing needs, the Kingdom intends to introduce a significant amount of alternative sources in its energy mix. With this agreement, we ensure that our students will acquire the most advanced knowledge and skills regarding solar energy and CPV technology, which they will need when entering their professional lives.”
Soitec executive vice president of its solar division, Gaetan Borgers, added: “CPV technology is perfectly suited to countries that benefit from year-long high solar irradiation, such as Saudi Arabia. Our demonstration system installed in Medina is performing very well. Thanks to this cooperation with the Medina College of Technology, we will be able to further test and demonstrate our technology’s competitiveness under desert conditions while supporting its deployment. I am very pleased that this agreement also reflects our strong commitment to the Kingdom’s educational sector. Soitec is happy to share its expertise to lay the foundations of a growing level of employment in the renewable industry in the Kingdom.”
Saudi Arabia’s solar sector looks to be one of the key focuses for the coming months, following King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy’s (KA CARE) release of its white paper, outlining the procurement programme for its giant renewable energy investment programme. KA CARE is expecting to have a total 23,900 MW of renewable energy added by 2020 alone, with a final 54GW target for 2032.