Solar Frontier K.K., a subsidiary of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. and TSK, a business group in engineering development and the supply of energy and industrial facilities, have signed an agreement for 5MW CIS solar photovoltaic, or PV, energy facility in Kuwait.
The new CIS installation will be used to evaluate the performance of CIS in Kuwaiti desert conditions as part of a larger government project known as Shagaya Renewable Energy Project. Solar Frontier will start shipping its CIS modules at the beginning of December of this year and TSK will handle the construction as well as operation of the site for the next six years. The new PV power plant is scheduled to begin operating from June 2016.
The Shagaya Renewable Energy Project is part of the Innovative Renewable Energy Research program run by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), a Kuwaiti government entity. The first stage of this program consists of testing the performance of multiple renewable energy facilities, including PV, concentrated solar power (CSP) and wind.
TSK has been selected to construct the first 10 MW PV project, consisting of two 5 MW photovoltaic plants, as well as a 50 MW CSP plant. Solar Frontier’s CIS modules make up one of the 5 MW PV facilities and will be compared to a side-by-side crystalline silicon PV plant to help Kuwaiti authorities evaluate the suitability of PV technologies for subsequent phases of the project and other similar facilities to be developed in the future.
“CIS modules are particularly well-suited for tough conditions such as in the desert in Kuwait. One of the reasons is because CIS modules are less affected by high temperatures, as indicated by their lower temperature coefficient. When all of the real-world performance advantages of CIS are combined, the result is higher energy yield – or kilowatt-hours per kilowatt-peak – compared to crystalline silicon,” said Wolfgang Lange, Managing Director of Solar Frontier Europe. “With the engineering expertise of TSK, we look forward to further demonstrating the performance and quality advantages of our CIS technology outside of the lab and in real-world environments.”
The project with TSK will make Kuwait the 50th country to install Solar Frontier’s CIS modules as the solar energy developer continues to expand its global footprint from its manufacturing base in southern Japan.