solar thermal electric

Saint-Gobain opens its first parabolic cylindrical mirror production line at its Covilis plant in Portugal

On 10 July, Saint-Gobain’s Chief Executive Officer Pierre-André de Chalendar inaugurated in the presence of José Socrates, Portugal's Prime Minister and Fernando Texeira dos Santos, Minister of Economy and Innovation, the group’s first production unit for parabolic cylindrical mirrors used in solar power plants.

Until now, the Covilis facility has focused on manufacturing SGG Albarino extra-clear glass for use in PV panels,but the group has invested more than €20 million on a 12,000 square metre extension to house the parabolic cylindrical mirror production line.

Covilis now boasts the group's first large parabolic cylindrical mirror line, with an annual production capacity of more than 2 million square metres; enough to supply five 50-MW solar parks a year. This new line makes Covilis the world's largest parabolic cylindrical mirror plant, supplying Southern Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Australia and other regions.

With this brand new facility at the leading edge of the world's best available technologies, Saint-Gobain intends to speed its growth in renewable energies and advance its strategy of deploying across the solar value chain and technology base, including PV panels, solar concentrators and solar heating systems.

The parabolic solar concentrator market enjoys vibrant demand, thanks to tax incentives and institutional support. According to certain estimates, installed capacity worldwide could reach 50 GW by 2020. Saint-Gobain is aiming to serve nearly 30% of the solar concentrator market by 2010.

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