SunPower Dedicates 330MW Solar Cell Fab in Philippines

July 30, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

SunPower Corp. announced the inauguration of its second solar cell fabrication facility (known as cell Fab 2) in the Philippines. The facility, located in Batangas, south of Manila. has been recognized by the International Energy Agency for its energy-efficient design.

The new manufacturing facility is approximately 43,000 square meters (nearly 463,000, square feet), twice as large as the company’s cell Fab 1, and will exclusively manufacture SunPower’s second-generation solar cells, known as Gen 2. Cell Fab 2 will have a nameplate annual capacity rating of 330MW. The building will house 10 solar cell production lines when fully online.

Cell Fab 2 was designed with environmental sustainability in mind. The building is said to have been engineered with a variety of energy efficient features that will help increase operations efficiency and cut energy costs. These features include: improved HVAC cooling and heating systems that are said to offer a much lower carbon footprint for a facility of this size and type; 100% of the hot water heating capacity is generated by heat recovery air compressors; cooling system efficiency that uses approximately 40% less electricity compared to typical systems in the Manila area; improved, high-efficiency lighting that is said to be 50 to 60% more efficient than standard lighting systems. As an example, the company will use 12W, LED lighting that will last for approximately 10 years to reduce its electrical usage.

"The inauguration of our second solar cell fab is an important step for SunPower," said CEO Tom Werner. "When fully built out, Fab 2 will quadruple our total manufacturing capacity and create economies of scale that are an important element in our plan to reduce installed solar system costs by 50% by 2012."