Silex to power up in Saudi Arabia

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Solar Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASX-listed Silex Systems has commenced construction of a one (1) mega-watt (nominal) Concentrating Photovoltaic (CPV) solar power station at the Nofa International Equestrian Resort in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This is the first project to be undertaken by the company in the Middle East region.

The facility is to consist of 28 units of the commercial CS500 CPV Dish System product and will be used to offset existing diesel generator capacity at the Nofa resort.

Silex said the facility would also showcase the operational performance and suitability of Solar Systems’ proprietary Dense Array CPV power conversion system for the burgeoning solar market in the Middle East.

“Securing the Nofa project is a key step forward in the marketing of Solar Systems’ unique Dense Array CPV technology in the Middle East,” Silex Systems chief executive officer Dr Michael Goldsworthy said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The Nofa facility will allow potential customers in the region to observe and measure the performance of this unique technology first hand.

“With several governments in the region laying out plans for a massive expansion in solar power generating capacity, including the recent announcement by the government of Saudi Arabia regarding a US$109 billion plan to build 41 giga-watts of solar power capacity over the next two decades, we are very excited about the commercial potential of this technology in the Middle Eastern market.”

The Nofa resort is owned by His Highness Prince Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Kabeer.

It is located approximately 90 kilometres west of Riyadh along Highway 40, which is the country’s main highway linking Jeddah and Mecca in the west to Dammam in the east.

The funding of the facility will be shared by Solar Systems and Nofa.

The plant construction is expected to be completed around the end of CY2012, subject to finalisation of import customs arrangements and completion of project planning and design activities over the next few months.