23 April 2010
SunPower Corp., a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, announced that it has partnered with Flextronics to begin manufacturing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels in Milpitas, California by the end of 2010.
The announcement, made on Earth Day's 40th anniversary, comes 25 years to the week since SunPower was founded in Silicon Valley in 1985.
The SunPower and Flextronics partnership is expected to create approximately 100 new jobs this year, and produce 75 megawatts of SunPower solar panels annually. The West Coast 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 US.
"I can think of no better way to celebrate Earth Day than to highlight action that is good for both California's environment and its economy. SunPower is not only enabling homes and businesses to conserve energy and save money by going solar, they are also creating jobs at a time when they are needed most," said Governor Schwarzenegger.
"We commend Governor 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.
Establishing a U.S. manufacturing facility is a direct result of SunPower's three-year agreement with the US 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 US will also be exported to a solar panel manufacturing facility located in Europe. SunPower plans to apply a US 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.
Headquartered in Singapore, Flextronics is a leading Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider focused on delivering complete design, engineering and manufacturing services to automotive, computing, consumer, industrial, infrastructure, medical and mobile OEMs. Flextronics helps customers design, build, ship, and service electronics products through a network of facilities in 30 countries on four continents.