SunPower to buy solar panels maker SolarWorld

By Editor


SunPower is set to acquire SolarWorld Americas, a leading manufacturer of solar panels in the U.S. Financial details were not disclosed.

The strategy of SunPower is to become the largest solar panel manufacturer in the U.S. and tap the North American solar power market.

SunPower is one of the largest solar companies in the world and is majority owned by France’s oil giant Total SA, Reuters reported.

SunPower is based in San Jose, California but most of its manufacturing is in the Philippines and Mexico. The company had lobbied against the solar trade case brought last year by U.S. manufacturers, including SolarWorld, which said they could not compete with a flood of cheap imports.

The deal is a win for the Trump administration’s efforts to revive U.S. solar manufacturing through the tariffs. SunPower will manufacture its cheaper “P-series” panels, which more directly compete with Chinese products, at the SolarWorld factory in Hillsboro, Oregon.

SunPower plans to inject fresh capital into the SolarWorld Americas facility and deploy high-efficiency P-Series solar panel manufacturing technology.

SolarWorld says its manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon produces hundreds of megawatts of solar cells and panels each year. As the largest U.S. solar photovoltaic manufacturer for more than 40 years, SolarWorld is uniquely recognized as America’s solar leader.

While SolarWorld has production facilities across the globe, the majority of the SolarWorld panels sold in the U.S. are made right here, as has been the case since 1975. The company maintains 430 megawatts of annual capacity to produce solar cells and 550 MW of capacity to manufacture solar modules.

SunPower CEO and chairman Tom Werner said: “The time is right for SunPower to invest in U.S. manufacturing, and SolarWorld Americas provides a great platform for us to implement our advanced P-Series solar panel manufacturing technology right here in our home market.”

SunPower plans to ramp SolarWorld Americas operations to capitalize on strong U.S. market demand. The company will invest in factory improvements and increased working capital. SunPower will be retrofitting a portion of the facility to produce P-Series solar panels. It will be continuing to produce SolarWorld Americas’ legacy products.

SunPower said this announcement marks the company’s return to U.S. manufacturing. The agreement is subject to necessary U.S. and German regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. At closing, SunPower will become the largest U.S. solar panel manufacturer.

Baburajan K

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