Siemens Buys Stake in Semprius
Siemens has acquired a minority share (approximately 16%) in the U.S. pioneering solar company Semprius. Headquartered in Durham, N.C., Semprius develops high-concentrating photovoltaic (HCPV) modules. This investment gives Siemens early access to a highly promising technology for CO2-free power generation from solar energy. Siemens will act as a strategic investor to help Semprius develop this innovative technology to market maturity.
The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
The market for HCPV installations is still in its early stages, but is expected to grow to a volume of up to 6 gigawatts by 2020. HCPV systems are a prime alternative to conventional photovoltaics and are especially suitable for regions with high direct sunlight, for example, along the Earth's sunbelt.
Semprius' HCPV modules use high-performance lenses to focus the sun's light onto very small, highly efficient (>40% NREL-certified) cells that convert the solar energy directly into electric current. Apart from its excellent conversion performance and very low cost, other features, such as its high reliability, modular configuration and flexible plant design, make this technology particularly appealing.
The first full test installation of Semprius' patented production process has been operational in Arizona since August 2010. Additional installations are scheduled to follow before the end of this year.
Currently, Siemens acts as a general contractor on solar projects, responsible for the planning, engineering, delivery and installation of solar power generating systems. With this deal, Siemens has opened the door to possibly extending from its current EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) model into this advanced photovoltaic market.