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SunPower, Flextronics build solar plant in Silicon Valley

Posted: 28 Apr 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar plant? manufacturing facility? solar panel?

SunPower Corp. has partnered with Flextronics to begin manufacturing solar panels in Milpitas, California by the end of this year.

The partnership is expected to create approximately 100 new jobs this year, and produce 75MW of SunPower solar panels annually. The location will allow SunPower to quickly and cost-effectively supply SunPower panels to solar installations at homes, commercial and public facilities, and power plants throughout the Western U.S.

"We commend Governor (Arnold) Schwarzenegger and our state and federal leaders for creating the long-term stability and visibility we need in the solar market to open this facility," said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. "The Governor's leadership on the California Solar Initiative, the Renewable Portfolio Standard, incentives for green manufacturing equipment and AB 32 provide us with the confidence to further invest in our home state."

Establishing a U.S. manufacturing facility is a direct result of SunPower's three-year agreement with the U.S. 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 implement improvements across the value chain that reduce solar system costs through improvements in the design and manufacture of integrated solar power systems. Funding from the DOE supports the research and development of both the solar panel manufacturing equipment ordered for this facility as well as commercial rooftop and tracking power plant systems which will incorporate the solar panels. Four of the equipment suppliers for SunPower's solar panel manufacturing line manufacture their tools in the United States. The equipment set used in United States will also be exported to a solar panel manufacturing facility located in Europe. 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 purchased for Silicon Valley.

"According to the California Public Utilities Commission, more applications were received under the California Solar Initiative (CSI) last month than in any month since the CSI was launched three years ago," Werner continued. "Solar systems are affordable today for many kinds of customers in the private and public sectors. We are installing solar across the state and around the worldfrom rooftops to parking lots to power plantsand this manufacturing facility will help supply the growing demand for all of these applications, providing emission-free, renewable solar power."

"We are proud to have been selected as SunPower's manufacturing partner in California," said E.C. Sykes, president of Flextronics Industrial. "Today's announcement solidifies Flextronics' leading position as the clean tech supply chain partner of choice for OEMs participating in this important and rapidly growing market sector."

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