SunPower Announces Third Solar-Cell Fab – 1GW-Scale Factory To Be Built In Malaysia

May 20, 2008 by Jeff Shepard

SunPower Corp. announced plans to build its next solar cell fabrication plant in Malaysia. When fully operational, Fab 3 is expected to have a nameplate rating in excess of 1GW of annual production capacity.

The new manufacturing facility is expected to be constructed in two phases, with the first phase comprised of 14 solar cell production lines with a nameplate capacity of 40mW each. After completion of phase two, at a scale in excess of 1GW, Fab 3 is estimated to achieve materially lower capital cost per watt compared to SunPower’s Fab 1 and Fab 2.

Solar cell production in Fab 3 is likely to begin in 2010, with the integrated site development planned to start later this year. SunPower will launch its manufacturing operations with its 22% minimum rated Gen 2 solar cells, and expects to add production of its recently announced, higher-efficiency Gen 3 solar cells at a later date.

"The scale and breadth of our Fab 3 campus in Malaysia will be a core element of our technology and manufacturing roadmap that drives us to our 50% cost reduction plan by 2012," said Tom Werner, CEO of SunPower Corp. "Malaysia offers us highly educated workers, a receptive business investment climate and the opportunity to significantly expand our production as the demand for our solar systems continues to escalate worldwide."

"We view SunPower as a technology leader in the dynamic and rapidly growing solar industry," said Datuk R. Karunakaran, Director General for the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority. "We are excited with SunPower’s decision to invest in our country to manufacture its high-efficiency solar cells and panels, and we look forward to supporting its growth."