SunPower Acquires Building for Second Solar Cell Manufacturing Facility

July 13, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

SunPower Corp. announced that it has purchased a 40,000-square-meter manufacturing facility in the Philippines (located near its existing plant) to expand production capacity for its solar cells. Plant 2 has sufficient space to allow for installation of up to 10 additional production lines, four more than a previously considered site would have allowed. The larger plant footprint will enable production of more than 300 megawatts per year of solar cells when fully built out.

SunPower currently operates three solar cell production lines at its first plant, and is currently installing a fourth line that will bring the total facility nameplate capacity to 108MW per year when production begins in the fourth quarter of 2006. Line 5, the first line scheduled for installation in Plant 2, is expected to begin production in the first half of 2007. Both Lines 4 and 5 will produce SunPower's higher-efficiency Gen 2 (second generation) solar cells, with a minimum specified conversion efficiency of 22%.

"The acquisition of this building provides SunPower with the option to accelerate our growth plans," said PM Pai, COO of SunPower Corporation. "Plant 2 will be a larger manufacturing facility than Plant 1, offering us economies of scale and maximizing our opportunities for rapid cycles of learning from line to line."