Press Releases

SunPower's China Joint Venture Partners with Apple to Provide Solar Power to the Environmentally-Preserved ABA Region
Innovative, Dual-Use Renewable Energy Projects Protect the Land While Providing Up to 80 Million Kilowatt-hours of Energy per Year

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Continuing its growth in the world's largest solar photovoltaic market, SunPower Corporation today announced that it plans to partner with Apple to build two solar power projects totaling 40 megawatts (MW) in ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures, Sichuan Province of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). When complete, the two projects will be co-owned by Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., Ltd., SunPower's project development joint venture, and Apple.  

The projects include Hongyuan Huanju Ecological Energy Co., Ltd., (Hongyuan) located in Hongyuan County and Ruoergai Huanju Ecological Energy Co., Ltd., (Zioge) located in Ruoergai County. Both are in the ABA Prefecture and will be 20 MW each.

The projects are currently being constructed, and the Hongyuan project already has 2 MW connected to the grid utilizing SunPower's LCPV tracker. The technology combines single-axis tracking technology with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto high efficiency SunPower Maxeon™ cells, which are the world's most efficient commercially available mass-produced solar cells. Completion of the projects is expected in the fourth quarter of 2015.

These are the first solar projects deployed in the ABA Region. The projects are expected to provide up to 80 million kilowatt-hours per year while also protecting the ecosystem. The projects will feature SunPower's unique "light-on-land" approach to solar photovoltaic power plant design and construction developed through its experience with over 2 gigawatts (GW) of power plant systems installed and operating globally. Utilizing this innovative dual-use approach means that pasture farming can continue while power is generated.

"This is a tremendous groundbreaking collaboration, bringing together a diverse group of experienced partners from different parts of the globe to build renewable solar energy ventures that contribute to the local economy and the environment. Our unique, existing partnerships in China allowed for these projects to come to fruition quickly," said Tom Werner, president and CEO, SunPower. "These projects will provide clean, renewable energy, help address climate change, and continue to provide agricultural benefits to the local farmers, while protecting the area's precious land. We continue to value our partnership with Apple and commend them for their global environmental commitment."

SunPower has provided its leading, innovative solar solutions to Apple on six U.S. projects totaling 90 MW in California, Nevada and North Carolina. These landmark China projects are SunPower's first international solar collaboration with Apple.

Last October, SunPower announced its second China joint venture, the Shengtian joint venture, with partners Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co., Ltd., Sichuan Development Holding Co., Ltd., Leshan Electric Power Co., Ltd., and Tianjin Tsinlien Investment Holding Co., Ltd. to develop and own at least 3 GW of photovoltaic power plants in the PRC. SunPower has committed a $20 million investment in this effort, in addition to supplying its solar solutions.

As a result of SunPower's initial China joint venture, Huaxia CPV (Inner Mongolia) Power Co., Ltd. announced in December 2012 that a 300- MW LCPV cell receiver manufacturing facility was planned in the Jinqiao Development Zone, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia. The Huaxia joint venture now has three 50-MW production lines in operation. In March 2014, SunPower announced the sale of more than 70 MW of cell packages to the joint venture. These packages are being used for four SunPower LCPV projects, which include the Hongyuan and Ruoergai projects in Sichuan, plus two more projects located in Inner Mongolia: a 20-MW project in Saihan and a 100-MW project in Wuchuan.

About SunPower

SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's 30 years of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpower.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding:  (a) the parties building and co-owning two projects; (b) completion of construction of the four projects; and (c) the Shengtian joint venture successfully developing three gigawatts or more of photovoltaic power plants in China.  These forward-looking statements are based on our current assumptions, expectations and beliefs and involve substantial risks and uncertainties that may cause results, performance or achievement to materially differ from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to: (1) the parties' ability to reach agreeable terms and sign definitive agreements to co-own projects in China and their ability satisfy applicable closing conditions; (2) regulatory approvals for the proposed transactions; (3) the parties' ability to obtain additional financing for projects in China; (4) our ability to meet our cost reduction targets; (5) regulatory changes and the availability of economic incentives promoting use of solar energy; (6) challenges inherent in constructing and maintaining large projects; (7) the success of our ongoing research and development efforts and commercialization of new products and services; and (8) challenges managing joint ventures. A detailed discussion of these factors and other risks that affect our business is included in filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from time to time, including our most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, particularly under the heading "Risk Factors." Copies of these filings are available online from the SEC or on the SEC Filings section of our Investor Relations website at investors.sunpower.com. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information currently available to us, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events.

 

SOURCE SunPower Corp.

For further information: Investors, Bob Okunski, 408.240.5447, Bob.Okunski@sunpower.com; Media, Natalie Wymer, 408.457.2348, Natalie.Wymer@sunpower.com