SunPower Unveils Silicon Valley Pilot Manufacturing Line for High Efficiency Solar Panels
World's leading solar cell technology researched, developed and tested in California

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Solar technology design, manufacturing and installation methods have come a long way in just 20 years, and as a trailblazing solar energy company, SunPower has witnessed the trajectory first-hand. Globally, there is now 305 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity, up from around 50 GW in 2010 and virtually nothing at the turn of the millennium.

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Innovation is central to SunPower's DNA, and with years of experience, researchers have been emboldened to create new manufacturing technologies and processes while continuing to break solar panel efficiency records that fuel creative solar applications – from solar power racecars to airplanes. The nucleus of SunPower's technological solar panel expertise is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., on the SunPower Campus.

"We continue to make the world's best solar panels with technology developed and tested right here in Silicon Valley," said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. "These efforts result in domestic job creation, capital investments from our equipment manufacturers and dealers, and more affordable solar energy options for homes and businesses across the U.S. and around the world."

This summer, SunPower engineers began producing the company's latest generation of solar cells in a pilot production line installed in the heart of Silicon Valley. The research facility, which runs from silicon to panel, utilizes a revolutionary manufacturing approach. The cells extend on the leading X-Series technology which currently achieves a record 25 percent efficiency in mass production, further positioning SunPower on the cutting edge of innovation.  The line, which has begun production, will ultimately ramp to producing cells and panels used in both residential and commercial applications. First planned customers include school districts interested in carport applications and residential rooftops. Construction and installation is slated for later this year.

SunPower has a long history of developing and ramping world-record breaking technologies in California and is investing even further to make solar cost-competitive with all U.S. power sources.  The SunPower® Signature™ Black solar panels, which are researched, developed, and now also produced at SunPower's research facility, are being extensively tested to ensure it is the world's most reliable product, backed by SunPower's industry-leading 25-year Combined Power and Product Warranty.

The new pilot manufacturing location will enhance SunPower's ability to quickly and cost-effectively scale and supply panels to solar installations at homes, businesses and schools throughout the growing U.S. solar market.

Silicon Valley Research Facility Quick Facts

  • Over 100 people on-site at the research facility, arguably employing the world's best collection of solar experts.
  • Approximately $25 million invested in the facility within the past 12 months, demonstrating the commitment to innovation at the site.
  • Over 30 parts suppliers and manufacturers, which have headquarters in 33 U.S. cities across nine states.
    o   Research facility equipment includes several high-volume production-sized manufacturing tools and automation, and specialized testing equipment, sourced from Boulder, Colo., Hudsonville, Mich., and various parts of California, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas, Illinois and elsewhere.

SunPower's Economic Footprint Across the Country

  • Over 1,000 people are employed in SunPower offices and related facilities in San Jose and Richmond, Calif., Austin, Texas, and elsewhere.
  • Over 12,000 people are indirectly employed by more than 515 independent SunPower dealers across 38 states.

Solar as an Affordable Clean Energy Source
Over the past decade, the cost of solar in general has dramatically reduced with scale by more than 50 percent. New manufacturing techniques employed in SunPower's Silicon Valley research facility aim to instill customer centricity by focusing on efficiency and performance of the panel while cutting overall cost to the consumer.

About SunPower
As one of the world's most innovative and sustainable energy companies, SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) provides a diverse group of customers with complete solar solutions and services. Residential customers, businesses, governments, schools and utilities around the globe rely on SunPower's more than 30 years of proven experience. From the first flip of the switch, SunPower delivers maximum value and superb performance throughout the long life of every solar system. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, SunPower has dedicated, customer-focused employees in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. For more information about how SunPower is changing the way our world is powered, visit www.sunpower.com.

SunPower's 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 future production and allocation plans. 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: regulatory changes, manufacturing challenges that could arise, and fluctuations or declines in the performance of our solar panels and other products and solutions. 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 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.sunpowercorp.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.

©2017 SunPower Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.  SUNPOWER and the SUNPOWER logo are registered trademarks of SunPower Corporation in the U.S. and other countries as well.

 

 

A SunPower employee at the Silicon Valley research facility manually strings solar cells in preparation for making a panel.

 

SunPower holds the world record for highest efficiency silicon solar panels, and each module produced must pass flash testing.

 

For more than 30 years, SunPower has led the way with record-setting technologies and innovative solar solutions, starting with strong investment in research and development.

 

SunPower supports 14,000+ U.S. jobs across 40 states and has injected billions of dollars into the economy.

 

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SOURCE SunPower Corp.

For further information: Rachel Platis, SunPower, rachel.platis@sunpower.com, 512-735-0768