SunPower’s Solar Panel Manufacturing Capacity To Triple In 5 Years

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Originally published on Solar Love.

TOM-WERNER-cmykOne of the world’s largest solar cell and solar panel manufacturers, SunPower*, is looking primed to take advantage of continued, massive solar power growth. Recently, SunPower President and CEO Tom Werner noted that he expects the solar industry to be a $5 trillion industry within 20 years. I wouldn’t bet against that.

Aiming to take advantage of that growth as much as possible, SunPower is currently planning to triple its solar panel manufacturing capacity over the next 5 years.

The company is known for its high-efficiency solar panels, the most efficient as well as most durable, most reliable, and best guaranteed on the market. Part of its massive manufacturing expansion will be for its high-efficiency solar panels, but part is also aimed at growing low-concentrating PV (LCPV), presumably to diversify its focus and also claim an even larger portion of the fast-expanding solar market.

The expansion includes a 150 MW factory in South Africa, a 350 MW Fab 4 facility in the Philippines and a 800 MW Fab 5 facility, as well as 1,000 MW of capacity for LCPV production.

SunPower solar panel manufacturing growth plan


Showing how much things have changed for SunPower in recent years, Greentech Media reports:

Werner reminisced about building SunPower’s first fab in an old NEC hard disk drive manufacturing facility in the Philippines that “had to be torn apart” a decade ago. He said the 108-megawatt site “seemed massive at the time,” and he was concerned as to how to keep it filled to capacity.

Now, Werner notes, the company is going to effectively build 25 of those lines in the next five years. “We’re going for it,” he said.

“Going for it” seems like the perfect line to capture SunPower’s bet, based on its massive (but I’d say realistic) projections.

As part of its growth plans, SunPower also recently acquired solar inverter startup SolarBridge.

For more info, see sister site CleanTechnica’s reports on SunPower’s Q2 and Q3 financials calls.

*Full Disclosure: I own stock in SunPower.

Photo via UW-Madison

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Zachary Shahan

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