Maxeon looking to expand in the US with cell and module assembly plant

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Maxeon’s module assembly plant in Mexico. Image: Maxeon Solar Technologies.

Solar module supplier Maxeon has started evaluating the possibility of expanding its manufacturing capacity in the US with a cell and module assembly plant.

In a conference call for the first quarter results of 2023, Maxeon’s CEO, Bill Mulligan, said the company was looking to expand its manufacturing capacity due to the opportunities in the US utility-scale market and increased demand from the market, while the company’s application with the Department of Energy Loan Program Office progressed to the due-diligence phase in the previous quarter.

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Accelerating the development and deployment of more efficient and cost-effective solar panel technologies has become one of the highest priorities for the company, said Mulligan to PV Tech Premium.

For the first quarter of 2023, Maxeon’s revenue reached US$318 million, up year-on-year from US$223 million in Q1 2022. The Americas contributed the most with US$165 million, while revenue in Europe reached US$127 million in Q1 2023.

The module manufacturer exceeded its adjusted EBITDA with US$30.9 million, an improvement from a negative EBITDA of US$33.5 million in the same period last year sequentially when the company had a negative EBITDA of US$3.7 million in Q4 2022.

Within the US, the company has fully booked its utility-scale capacity for 2025 and allocated parts of 2026 and 2027 already, with the production ramp-up underway – with a 1.8GW module assembly plant in North America nearing full ramp – and the full cell fabrication capacity nearly completed.

Maxeon registered its best shipment volume quarter since its spin-out from residential solar installer SunPower in 2020, with 774MW, a 6% increase sequentially and up almost 60% from Q1 2022. The module manufacturer exceeded its guidance range due to the accelerated ramp-up of its US utility-scale capacity. The Performance Line module continues to increase its share with 576MW versus 198MW for the IBC line.

The company has also ramped up its distributed generation (DG) presence in the US during Q1 2023 and registered the highest average selling price (ASP) in the company’s history, increasing the global blended DG ASP by nearly 3% in the opening quarter of 2023.

Europe’s DG also had a strong quarter, especially in Belgium and France, which showed a volume growth of more than 40% from Q1 2022, with Italy’s commercial segment trending upwards, according to Mulligan. “We expect beyond the panel sales to increase over the course of 2023 with a higher attach rate of microinverters as well as sales from storage and EV charger products.”

“Our strong European footprint allowed us to maintain margins at similar levels to the previous quarter in both percentage and absolute terms despite typical Q1 seasonality trends and increased overall industry supply volumes that created a more competitive pricing environment,” added Mulligan.

Outside of Europe and the US, the company is looking to expand its opportunities in Latin America, Japan and Australia.

In its guidance for the second quarter, the module manufacturer expects to ship between 860-900MW of solar modules and generate a revenue between US$360-400 million, almost 20% up sequentially due to an expected growth in the DG segment in the US as well as higher ASPs.

Furthermore, for the full fiscal year 2023 Maxeon revised its results upwards, with revenues in the range of US$1.4-1.6 billion and an adjusted EBITDA between US$95-120 million.

Conference call transcript from Seeking Alpha.

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

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