BP Solar has signed an agreement with Jabil Circuit to manufacture BP Solar modules for the European market in Jabil’s plant in Poland. The deal calls for an initial capacity of 45MW in 2009, with the opportunity for expansion as demand increases. BP, which is increasingly outsourcing its production, joins SunPower and Day4 Energy as customers of Jabil’s PV module contract-manufacturing program.
“We have selected Jabil as our partner to help bring down the cost of manufacturing BP’s proprietary solar products and help continue to deliver the highest lifetime value to our customers,” said Reyad Fezzani, CEO of BP Solar. “We are confident that Jabil’s focus on manufacturing excellence will meet BP Solar’s exacting standards for safety, reliability, and product quality.”
The chief executive stressed that Jabil will manufacture modules designed by BP Solar and that BP’s quality assurance standards will be integrated into Jabil’s processes. He added that BP Solar is especially pleased to inaugurate the partnership with Jabil in Europe–one of the most important markets for his company.
“Jabil’s ability to locate solar panel assembly operations in the major consuming regions of the world to optimize logistics provides a significant advantage to our customers and will afford BP Solar the opportunity to serve their customers more efficiently,” said Brain Althaver, Jabil’s VP of strategic development, who also heads the company’s renewable energy business.
“This partnership with Jabil, is part of our overall strategy to become more cost competitive and nimble by moving to a model of regional assembly and demand fulfillment centers, leveraging the scale of materials and production capacity,” explained BP’s VP of global operations, Michael Petrucci. He added that it is also another important step in improving cost competitiveness while remaining fully committed to the quality and higher lifetime value that the company’s modules offer.
Commenting on the market outlook for solar, Fezzani said, “While economic conditions have slowed growth in the past year, we have seen a significant uptick this past quarter. We expect that to continue.”