GENEVA, Oct 04, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) today announced that Etrion Corporation (TSX: ETX), an independent solar power producer, has completed the previously announced definitive sale and purchase agreements to acquire the equity in the first two phases of Montalto di Castro solar park, Italy's largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power park, for approximately euro 49 million.
The acquisition of the 20-megawatt (MW) first phase of the project was completed in August and the acquisition of the 8 MW second phase was completed last week. SunPower will recognize the sale of the first phase of the project as a return of capital, and will recognize revenue on the sale of the second phase, including previously deferred engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) revenue.
"With the closing of this acquisition, we are well on our way to completing the monetization of 85 MWs in Italy this year," said SunPower CFO Dennis Arriola. "SunPower's world-leading technology and proven performance of more than 225 MWs of operational power plants in Europe has provided us with a strong set of potential financing partners, including many new participants to the solar market."
SunPower designed and built the 28 MW Montalto di Castro solar park in the Lazio region of Italy near Rome, and will provide ongoing operations and maintenance services. The 20 MW first phase was connected to the grid in November 2009, several weeks ahead of schedule and was acquired by SunPower upon the acquisition of SunRay Renewable Energy in May of 2010. The 8 MW second phase was commissioned last month. An incremental 44 MW is planned to be completed and monetized by the end of this year, bringing the total scale of the solar park to 72 MW.
The Montalto di Castro solar park uses high-efficiency SunPower solar panels, the most efficient panels commercially available, installed on a SunPower(R) Tracker system. The Tracker follows the sun during the day and delivers up to 25 percent more energy than fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.
Worldwide, SunPower has more than 600 MW of solar power systems installed or under contract, including more than 225 MW of operational power plants in Europe.
Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers the planet's most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
The capacity of power plants in this release is described in approximate megawatts on an alternating current (AC) basis unless otherwise noted. On a direct current (DC) basis, the first two phases of the Montalto di Castro solar park are approximately 24 MW and 9 MW respectively in capacity. They form part of a multi-phase solar park totaling approximately 85 MW (DC) in capacity.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not represent historical facts and may be based on underlying assumptions. The company uses words and phrases such as "will," "on our way," "potential" and "planned" to identify forward-looking statements in this press release, including forward-looking statements regarding: (a) nature of revenue recognition; (b) expected monetization of 85 MW in Italy in 2010; (c) the potential number of financing partners; and (d) expected completion and monetization of an additional 44 MWs in the Montalto solar park. Such forward-looking statements are based on information available to the company as of the date of this release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some beyond the company's control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements, including risks and uncertainties such as: (i) construction difficulties or potential delays in the project implementation process; (ii) unanticipated delays or difficulties securing necessary permits, licenses or other governmental approvals or financing; (iii) the risk of continuation of supply of products and components from suppliers; (iv) unanticipated problems with deploying the system on the sites; (v) general business and economic conditions, including seasonality of the industry; (vi) growth trends in the solar power industry; (vii) the continuation of governmental and related economic incentives promoting the use of solar power; (viii) the improved availability of third-party financing arrangements; (ix) the significant investment required to construct power plants and the company's ability to sell or otherwise monetize solar power plants; and (x) other risks described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 3, 2010 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 4, 2010, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company's views as of any subsequent date, and the company is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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