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Maxwell Technologies Inc. and Soitec will collaborate on a California Energy Commission (CEC)-funded, two-phase program to demonstrate the benefits of combining an energy storage system with Soitec's Concentrix concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) solar technology.

Maxwell has been awarded a $1.39 million contract by the CEC's Research and Development program to fund design and integration of an ultracapacitor-based energy storage system with Soitec's CPV system located on the campus of University of California, San Diego and a second commercial-scale system at Soitec's solar power plant in Southern California.

According to the companies, the integrated systems will also take advantage of other technologies, including solar forecasting and predictive energy control, to maximize the benefit of incorporating ultracapacitor energy storage. The project starts in June and will run through November 2015.

"Investing in solar energy research is vital to California reaching its goal of 33 percent renewable generation by 2020," says CEC Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller. "This innovative project combining energy storage with concentrated photovoltaic technology has the potential to increase the state's renewable energy portfolio, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and create a more reliable electricity grid."

David Schramm, Maxwell's president and CEO, says, "Electric utility grid applications represent an exciting new frontier for Maxwell."



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