SunPower marks progress for California solar projects

California-based SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR), in its Feb. 12 fourth-quarter earnings statement, said it is making progress with several projects both in the U.S. and abroad.

“Solid execution enabled us to substantially beat our plan every quarter this year,” said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. “Demand remains strong in both our power plant and distributed generation businesses, and we are executing well in our manufacturing operations with all solar cell fabrication facilities (Fab) running at full capacity. Our technology and operations teams continue to drive down panel cost as we reduced our annual costs by more than 20 percent for the second year in a row. Additionally, our new 350-megawatt (MW) Fab remains on track and we expect first silicon production in less than 12 months.”

He added: “Regionally, North America was once again our strongest market. The 579-MW AC Solar Star projects for MidAmerican Solar reached a key milestone with the first 57-MW array segment delivering energy to the grid, and we achieved full commercial operation on the 250-MW AC California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR), one of the world’s largest solar power plants completed to date. We also booked a 20-MW SunPower® C7 Tracker project in North America for delivery in 2015. This is an important milestone in the commercial scale-up of this exciting, new and low-cost power plant technology.”

The website for the California Solar Valley Ranch project, which involves NRG Solar, shows the facility went fully operational in October 2013. The 250-MW project in eastern San Luis Obispo County, Calif., is generating power for transmission over Pacific Gas & Electric‘s utility grid.

MidAmerican Solar and SunPower announced Jan. 9 that the first portion of the 579-MW Solar Star development – two projects co-located in Kern and Los Angeles counties in California – was successfully synchronized and is now delivering energy to the California ISO grid.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.