SunPower Breaks Ground on 135-Megawatt Quinto Solar Plant

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) today announced it has started construction on the 135-megawatt Quinto Solar Project in Merced County, Calif. The system will generate power for Southern California Edison's customers, under a long-term power purchase agreement.  In accordance with the company's recently announced holdco strategy, SunPower expects to own and operate the solar power plant during construction.

"The advantages of SunPower's technology, combined with our global footprint of more than four gigawatts of operating solar systems, give us confidence to deploy a holdco strategy with regard to Quinto," said SunPower President and CEO Tom Werner. "This strategy allows SunPower to realize the return on investment from the leading power-producing performance of our technology, and reduces the risk to potential buyers if we decide to sell the operational plant."

Including the Quinto power plant, SunPower has more than 500 megawatts of residential, commercial and utility solar assets under contract around the world that it may choose to own for a period of time before a strategic sale or continue ownership post-construction during the operational phase of the project. Under this holdco strategy, SunPower expects to improve project margins and drive higher shareholder returns by capturing the material benefit of its lower system degradation rates, long term project life as well as benefitting from distributions from the project as an equity owner.

SunPower anticipates that about 295 jobs will be created during peak construction of the project, with approximately $80 million in local economic impact. The company estimates that more than $5 million of tax revenues will also be generated as a result of the project. After completion, which is scheduled for late 2015, the Quinto project is expected to generate enough electricity for 40,000 homes.

SunPower is constructing a SunPower® Oasis® Power Plant system at the approximately 1,000- acre site. Oasis is a fully-integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use.

According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the completed plant will offset the annual production of almost 134,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of removing more than half a million cars from California's roads over the next 20 years.

The capacity of the Quinto project discussed in this release is described in approximate megawatts on a direct current (dc) basis.

About SunPower Corp.

SunPower Corp. (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 quarter century 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 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 the construction of our Quinto project, including the project's anticipated key features and construction timeline, and our financing strategies, including our holdco strategy and its anticipated benefits. 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) competition in the industry and downward pressure on average selling prices; (2) our liquidity, substantial indebtedness, and our ability to obtain additional financing for our projects and our customers; (3) our ability to meet our cost reduction targets; (4) regulatory changes and the availability of economic incentives promoting use of solar energy; (5) challenges inherent in constructing and maintaining certain of our large projects, such as the Quinto project; (6) the success of our ongoing research and development efforts and commercialization of new products and services; (7) fluctuations in our operating results; (8) manufacturing difficulties that could arise; and (9) challenges managing our 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.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.

SOURCE SunPower Corp.

For further information: Ingrid Ekstrom, SunPower Corp., iekstrom@sunpower.com, (510) 260-8368