Amonix, a manufacturer of high concentrating solar panels, is building a new factory in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to the U.S. Department of Energy the project will be funded in part by the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit for 30% of the construction and equipment costs.
As explained by Ucilia Wang in an article on gigaon, unlike solar panels that absorb sunlight directly, the solar systems made by Amonix use a Fresnel lens to concentrate the sunlight 500 times onto smaller, more efficient solar cells. The systems are mounted on dual-axis trackers allowing them to follow the sun across the sky. Each system consists of 7 modules measuring 10 ft. by 49 ft., containing 36 sets of lenses and receivers and each receiver has 30 solar cells.
Eric Wesoff reported in greentechmedia in April 2010 that Amonix had raised $129.4 million in a round of funding, after having previously raised $25 million. The article quotes an investor who points out that the 14MW of high concentration photovoltaic capacity installed to date using Amonix technology represents over half the capacity installed worldwide. Amonix has more than 15 years of experience and each generation of their systems has gotten bigger. Investors and the company’s CEO point out that the Amonix high concentration systems do not have to be installed on flat land, require less area, are easier to install, and are more cost efficient than conventional solar panels.
Erin Dostal reported for the Las Vegas Sun in July, 2010 that Amonix would construct its manufacturing facility in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park near the Craig Road and Interstate 15 interchange. The project is expected to generate 278 management, production and technical jobs in North Las Vegas. Amonix plans to have the plant, which will produce components for the company’s high concentration solar systems, completed and in production by the end of 2010. The article quotes Christopher Zunis, vice president of economic development for the Nevada Development Authority as indicating that the plant will generate $9.5 million in local tax revenue and $2.5 million in state tax revenue over the next five years.
In gigaon, Ucilia Wang also reported that Amonix high concentration solar systems will be used in a 30 MW solar farm being developed by Cogentrix Energy near Alamosa, Colorado. The high concentration solar farm will be the largest of its kind in North America. Utility Public Service Co., part of Xcel Energy, has agreed to purchase the power from the solar farm under a 20-year contract. Construction is planned to start in the first quarter of 2011 and expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2012.
Amonix Expands in North Las Vegas – socaltech.com
Eric Wesoff, “$130M for Amonix: CPV Refined and Reconsidered” – greentechmedia
James Cartledge, “Amonix signs lease for North Las Vegas solar factory” – BrighterEnergy.org
Erin Dostal, “Solar company to begin filling 278 jobs in North Las Vegas” – Las Vegas Sun
Ucilia Wang, “The World’s Largest Solar CPV Farm, Courtesy of Amonix” – gigaom
VP100: Jobs coming to sunny Southwest – Energy Empowers