Soitec inks deal to boost solar energy market growth in Saudi Arabia

French energy firm Soitec and Khaled Juffali Co. (KJC), a Saudi Arabian investment company, have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in driving solar industry growth in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
Soitec inks deal to boost solar energy market growth in Saudi Arabia

Under the MOU, the two companies will create a joint venture to market and sell concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) systems in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, maximizing the local content. Soitec will provide the technical and commercial solar expertise, while KJC will facilitate access to key local and regional stakeholders and share its long track record in managing international joint ventures.

Soitec’s CPV technology, which uses triple-junction cells mounted on a glass plate, achieves at least twice the performance of conventional photovoltaic technologies, making it the most cost-efficient solution for high-volume power generation in regions with high direct normal irradiation (DNI).

The KJC-Soitec MOU is in line with the ongoing thrust of Saudi Arabia to explore and tap into renewable energy sources, as shown by the white paper recently published by the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE) which outlines the competitive procurement process for solar, wind, geothermal and waste to energy projects in Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the deal, Sheik Khaled Juffali, founder and chairman of KJC, said, “Soitec holds a leading position in the CPV industry with a pipeline of projects totaling hundreds of megawatts in the USA and South Africa and operates in 14 countries around the world, including a demonstration system at the Medina College of Technology (MCT) in Saudi Arabia.”

“Soitec has already demonstrated its ability to industrialize disruptive innovations with high-quality standards," he continued. "Thanks to Soitec’s leading CPV technology, our partnership will have a true competitive advantage and help to realize the Kingdom’s high solar potential. CPV is indeed perfectly suited for countries which benefit, like Saudi Arabia, from intensive solar radiation.”

The Sheik Khaled Juffali also pointed out that Soitec, “as a world leader in the CPV industry, is bringing us a high level of expertise and has shown it willingness to contribute to the Kingdom’s skills training in the cooperation with the Saudi Arabian Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC). Their ability to understand our local needs as well as their very strong commitment was also pivotal in our decision to sign this agreement.”

“KJC is an excellent partner in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with an extensive track record creating multinational partnerships that gain a strong position in the Kingdom," said Gaetan Borgers, executive vice president of Soitec’s Solar Division. "KJC’s profile perfectly matches our need for a high-level Saudi partner with an in-depth understanding of how to build a long-term sustainable business in this very important country for us. Solar energy will play a key role in meeting Saudi Arabia’s increasing electricity demand and thanks to KJC, we hope to establish CPV as a key solution to this challenge. I am very pleased to partner with KJC to develop a local and dynamic CPV industry.”

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