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Ultima Solar Parks

Ultima Networks plc is pleased to announce that it is establishing two pilot solar power plant installations in collaboration with the Sinarcas Town Council ('Sinarcas'), a Local Authority in Valencia, Spain. The estimated total cost of the project is Euro500,000, funded from Ultima Networks plc own resources.

The installations will each have a 50kW power generation capacity and will pilot the latest solar concentrator systems (concentrators use optical elements to focus light on a smaller area of a solar cell). This will be the first large-scale deployment of two CPV technologies, the 4x and 120x concentrators. The installations are intended to demonstrate the commercial advantage of these CPV technologies over existing solar systems. Construction will start in the first quarter of 2009. The pilot plants are expected to be operational during the second quarter of 2009, and be generating revenue for Ultima in the second half of 2009 under a typical 20 year power purchase agreement which would be signed with the Spanish local authority.

The performance of CPV concentrator technologies will be measured in comparison with conventional flat plate solar panels already in use on the site. Both Ultima Networks plc and Sinarcas will use the installation to demonstrate the CPV technology to organisations planning solar energy farms and installations.

The CPV system reduces the capital cost of solar installations substantially, and hence the Directors believe the system will be able to produce and supply electricity to a national electricity grid at a price that is competitive with existing fossil fuels ('grid cost parity') sooner than any other solar technology.

In addition to lower costs, the technology offers a much faster energy payback period compared to conventional solar technology. The expected energy payback period is one year, which compares favourably with flat plate technology that has an energy payback greater than 3 years.