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MILPITAS, Calif., April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Marking SunPower's (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) continued U.S. growth and investment, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. will join the company and its partner Flextronics (Nasdaq: FLEX) today in dedicating a new solar panel manufacturing facility in Milpitas, Calif. The Flextronics plant has created more than 100 jobs and will produce 75 megawatts (MW) per year of solar power panels for rooftops and power plants.
Leading the Nation on Renewable Power
During the dedication event, Governor Brown will sign into law California's expanded Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) which will ensure that California customers are served with 33 percent renewable energy by 2020. The RPS legislation was sponsored by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and passed the legislature as part of a special session focused on economic development.
Economic Footprint Across the Country
"Strong public policy at both the federal and state levels is paying off with job creation and capital investments from our equipment manufacturers to our dealers that install SunPower systems on homes and businesses across the U.S. and around the world," said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. "We make the world's highest efficiency solar panels with technology developed in Silicon Valley and can now compete with new gas-fired power plants. With the dedication of our solar panel manufacturing facility in partnership with Flextronics, Governor Brown's signing of California's 33 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard and the Department of Energy's SunShot program, we can invest further to make solar competitive with all power sources, lowering long-term energy costs for all customers."
SunPower, founded more than 25-years ago, is headquartered in Silicon Valley and is the number one manufacturer of installed residential and commercial solar systems in the U.S. With operations on four continents, SunPower delivers the highest efficiency and most reliable solar panels and systems on the market today. Since 2005, SunPower has created thousands of jobs and is injecting billions of dollars into the American economy.
Meeting Demand Close to Home
The new manufacturing location will allow SunPower to quickly and cost-effectively supply panels to solar installations at homes, businesses, schools and power plants throughout the rapidly growing U.S. solar market. One of the SunPower systems that will be served with solar panels from the Milpitas plant is the 250-MW California Solar Valley Ranch (CVSR) in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., the company's first central-station PV power plant. The project is planned to begin construction this summer for which it will hire 350 people. The project will create $315 million in economic benefit to California, power approximately 100,000 homes and help the state achieve its Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Leveraging Federal Dollars
Over the past three years, SunPower received approximately $24 million in federal funding to implement improvements across the value chain that reduced costs through the design and manufacture of integrated solar power systems. A half dozen commercialized successes are a direct result of Energy Department research and development assistance, including the design of solar panel manufacturing equipment ordered for the Milpitas facility. As a result of the quality and productivity of the Milpitas equipment set, an identical set of equipment was exported to a solar panel manufacturing facility in Europe. Another innovation developed with Energy Department funding, the SunPower™ T5 Solar Roof Tile, assembled in Richmond, Calif., was the first photovoltaic roof product to combine solar panel, frame and mounting system into a single pre-engineered unit. It was developed and delivered to customers less than two years after the government research and development funding was provided, with Southern California Edison ordering 200 MW over five years.
Strong Manufacturing Partner
SunPower's manufacturing partner Flextronics quickly brought the plant on-line with full production less than four months after the first panel was produced, reinforcing that demand for solar power can be quickly accommodated.
"Flextronics takes great pride in being SunPower's manufacturing partner and in our ability to enable clean energy solutions across the entire breadth of the eco system," said E.C. Sykes, president of Flextronics Industrial. "For us, it's more than just making projects, it's about creating jobs and the benefits that come from clean technologies and solutions that make lives better for everyone."
Solar as an Affordable Clean Energy
Over the past decade, the cost of solar in general has dramatically reduced with scale by more than 50 percent. Recently, SunPower co-founder Dr. Richard Swanson joined Secretary Chu for the SunShot initiative announcement. SunShot is designed to bring the total costs of utility scale solar energy systems down to roughly $1 per watt. This aggressive action would mean that large scale solar energy costs would be competitive with electricity from existing fossil-fired power plants offering affordable power without incentives.
SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) 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 and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
Flextronics Corporation (NASDAQ: FLEX) is a member of a leading Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider focused on delivering complete design, engineering and manufacturing services to automotive, computing, consumer, industrial, infrastructure, medical, clean tech and mobile OEMs. Flextronics helps customers design, build, ship, and service electronics products through a network of facilities in 30 countries on four continents. This global presence provides design and engineering solutions that are combined with core electronics manufacturing and logistics services, and vertically integrated with components technologies, to optimize customer operations by lowering costs and reducing time to market. For more information, please visit www.flextronics.com.
SunPower Forward-Looking Statements
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. SunPower uses words and phrases such as "will," "planned to," "ordering," "designed to," "would be" and similar terms to identify forward-looking statements in this press release, including forward-looking statements regarding (a) SunPower quickly and cost-effectively supplying panels to solar installations in the U.S.; (b) SunPower's construction of the CVSR project; (c) the CVSR project to begin construction this summer; (d) Southern California Edison ordering 200 MW over 5 years; and (e) SunShot bringing down costs of utility scale solar energy systems to roughly $1 per watt, and large scale solar energy costs becoming competitive with electricity from existing fossil-fired power plants without incentives. Such forward-looking statements are based on information available to SunPower as of the date of this release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some beyond SunPower'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) the success of the Flextronics partnership and SunPower's ability to quickly and cost effectively deliver to customers in the U.S.; (ii) unanticipated delays or difficulties securing necessary permits, licenses or other governmental approvals for CVSR; (iii) unanticipated delays or difficulties securing necessary land use rights for CVSR; (iv) construction difficulties or potential delays in the project implementation process for CVSR; (v) availability of debt or equity financing for the project, including a DOE loan guarantee; (vi) early termination or failure to meet conditions precedents in the agreements between NRG and SunPower for the CVSR project; (vii) inability of SunPower and NRG to reach final definitive agreements regarding the development and construction of CVSR; (viii) inability of SunPower, NRG, DOE or Southern California Edison to maintain a successful partnership relationship; (ix) the risk of continuation of supply of products and components from suppliers; (x) evolving law including permitting, financing, grid interconnection, technical, and other customer or regulatory requirements; (xi) general business and economic conditions, and growth trends in the solar power industry; (xii) the continuation of governmental and related economic incentives promoting the use of solar power; (xiii) SunPower's ability to drive down cost along the manufacturing chain, including from its suppliers, and the industry's ability to offer price competitive energy without incentives, and (xiv) other risks described in SunPower's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 2, 2011 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing SunPower's views as of any subsequent date, and SunPower 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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