During a visit to Tunisia by Eric Besson, French minister of industry, energy and the digital economy, the CEA and Soitec, a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials, signed with the Tunisian national electricity and gas company (STEG) a statement of intent to set up a demonstration unit combining Soitec’s Concentrix™ concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) technology with various electricity storage systems developed by the CEA, and lithium-ion batteries in particular.
There are various different goals for this project. In terms of energy policy, it reflects Tunisia’s determination to strengthen its energy security and independence by harnessing its solar resources. The intended role of the storage systems is to regulate the intermittence of renewable energies and to maximise the electricity contributed to the grid to improve its management.
From a scientific perspective, this demonstration unit will help to enhance knowledge of how CPV solar plants and storage systems operate over the long term in real usage conditions. It will lead to the development of skills in Tunisia and the sharing of expertise in new energy technologies through the creation of joint Franco-Tunisian research teams.
Commenting on the project, André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, Soitec’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted that the CEA with its ground-breaking technology has chosen to use Soitec’s Concentrix™ concentrating photovoltaic technology in this demonstration unit for its electricity storage systems. Our CPV systems deliver the best energy performance in the market for regions with abundant sunshine. The possibility of combining them with the various electricity storage systems developed by the CEA should extend our leadership by offering innovative solutions that include electricity storage.”