The manufacturing plant, once completed, will be used to supply the fast growing solar markets of the region.
The plant will be manufacturing SunPower’s high-efficiency E20/440 solar panels — the expectation is that 160 MW of panels will be produced annually there. By SunPower’s estimates, the plant will employ around 150 people once completed, with job-recruitment efforts expected to begin in 2015.
The new facility will also be home to SunPower’s new Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) and Operations & Management (O&M) offices — thus consolidating the company’s South African business into a single building.
“SunPower has a significant presence in the South African solar market, including two large power plants built this year and another one that will begin construction soon. By manufacturing our high efficiency solar panels at this new facility, we will not only help the local economy, but continue to deliver clean, renewable energy to this region,” stated Marty Neese, SunPower COO. “Our investment in this new plant is part of our commitment to the local South African PV market, and meets our objective to build a sustainable business through local investment and create jobs in the medium and long-term.”
This development follows on the heels of the company’s recent completion of two new solar projects (totaling 33 MW of capacity) near Cape Town. SunPower was also recently appointed as the preferred EPC and O&M contractor for an 86-MWdc project in the most recent round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement program.
Image Credit: SunPower