- Solar manufacturer and project developer SunPower plans to triple its module manufacturing capacity over the next 5 years, Greentech Media reports.
- Its 350-megawatt cell factory is on track to produce up to 100 megawatts in 2015. A planned next-generation cell and module facility will have an 800 megawatt capacity. And SunPower will expand operations to manufacture over 1 gigawatt of low-concentration photovoltaic (LCPV) modules.
- The company plans to get its cell to 25% efficiency in its new manufacturing facilities. It will also add a new manufacturing facility for its LCPV tracker product C7, which it plans to use in utility-scale installations in Arizona and Nevada and in its 3 gigawatts of planned joint venture developments in China.
With no company owning more than an 8% share of the $120 billion solar market, Werner called solar one of the biggest opportunities "in the history of markets" and he predicted solar will be ten times bigger by 2035, with cumulative revenues of $5 trillion.
SunPower’s strategy for negotiating the uncertainties of solar’s incentive-driven growth continues to be, according to CEO Tom Werner, (1) vertically integrating from manufacturing to installation, (2) diversifying across the utility-scale, commercial-industrial, and residential market segments, and (3) building brand on quality instead of price.
SunPower will advance its manufacture of AC-modules through its recent acquisition of microinverter designer/manufacturer SolarBridge. The factory assembled module-microinverter combination is expected to cut field installation costs.
SunPower lowered its full year 2014 revenue forecast from between $2.55 billion and $2.70 billion to between $2.535 billion and $2.585 billion, and its forecast for gross margin from between 20% and 22% to between 20% and 21%. It forecast its full year 2015 revenue will be between $2.4 billion and $2.6 billion, with a gross margin of between 21% and 23%.