SunPower Confirms California Manufacturing Facility

SunPower Corporation (Nasdaq: SPWRA; SPWRB) confirmed Thursday that it will establish its first US manfuacturing plant in California, as reported earlier this week by Reuters.

The San Jose-based company said it will partner with Singapore’s Flextronics (Nasdaq:FLEX) to begin manufacturing solar panels in Milpitas, Calif. by the end of this year.

Initial capacity wil be 75 megawatts (MW) per year, and the partnership is expected to create approximately 100 solar jobs this year.

Establishing a U.S. manufacturing facility is a direct result of
SunPower’s three-year agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE)
under the Solar Energy Technologies Program. Under the agreement, which
was initiated in 2007, SunPower may receive up to $24 million of federal
funding to reduce solar system costs through improvements in design and
manufacturing processes. 

SunPower CEO Tom Werner said California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, incentives for green manufacturing
equipment, and overall leadership in renewable energy led to the final decision to locate in the state.

SunPower plans to apply a U.S. federal manufacturing tax credit awarded to it from federal stimulus dollars by the DOE to support its investment in the manufacturing equipment for the new facility.

SunPower recently announced a contract to deliver 200 MW of the technology to Southern California Edison (NYSE: EIX) for the utility’s large solar photovoltaic installation program.

Last month Flextronics signed an agreement to produce solar modules for Germany’s Q-Cells SE (QCE.DE), one of the world’s largest solar cell producers.

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