SunPower plans to be the first silicon wafer-based photovoltaic producer to built and ramp a single 1GW facility with the announcement that it will start construction of Fab 3 in Malaysia later in 2008. The two-phase capacity expansion will see the first phase come on-stream in 2010 with 14 solar cell production lines with a nameplate capacity of 40 megawatts each. Phase two will see Fab 3 top 1GW in annual capacity, according to SunPower.
“The scale and breadth of our Fab 3 campus in Malaysia will be a core element of our technology and manufacturing roadmap that drives us to our 50 percent cost reduction plan by 2012,” said Tom Werner, CEO of SunPower Corp. “Malaysia offers us highly educated workers, a receptive business investment climate and the opportunity to significantly expand our production as the demand for our solar systems continues to escalate worldwide.”
“We view SunPower as a technology leader in the dynamic and rapidly growing solar industry,” said Datuk R. Karunakaran, Director General for the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority. “We are excited with SunPower’s decision to invest in our country to manufacture its high-efficiency solar cells and panels, and we look forward to supporting its growth.”
Initial production at Fab 3, phase one will utilize SunPower’s Gen 2 solar cell technology, with Gen 3 following when ready, the company said.