SunPower to remain capacity constrained through 2015

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Major PVEP SunPower will remain capacity constrained through 2015 and rely on only a 350MW new fab in the Philippines through 2016, before starting the construction of a giga-fab in 2017.

Despite running at full-capacity, SunPower is limiting capital expenditures to its Fab 4 facility in the Philippines through 2016, with expectations of only having 50MW of module production from the fab next year, compared to previous guidance of production being between 50MW and 100MW.

The main ramp of the new facility is planned for 2016 with an expected production capacity of 250MW. Current capacity is around 1.3GW.

“If you include the full ramp of Fab 4, our total capacity will reach approximately 1.8GW in 2017, a 40% increase versus current capacity, noted Thomas Werner, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of SunPower during the second quarter conference call. “In our existing fabs, we remain focused on driving improvements with respect to yield, equipment effectiveness and output. We are also still evaluating locations for capacity expansion beyond Fab 4 and plan to update investors on this initiative by the end of the year.”

A key reason for the slow ramp of Fab 4 may be due to it being SunPower’s pilot volume production plant for its Gen 3 solar cell technology.

According to Werner, 25% of SunPower’s total production capacity in 2016 would be Gen 3 specification with solar cell efficiencies close to 25%. With the ramp of Fab 4 in 2016, cell efficiencies are expected to be heading towards 25.5%. The comoany expects production costs to be reduced by around 35%.

R&D of Gen 3 technology remains at Fab 2, also located in the Philippines.
Small capacity increases are also coming via existing fabs. Fab 2 has 50MW of extra capacity taking it to 600MW in 2014 and plans for a further 25MW in 2016 and a further 25MW in 2017.

Fab 3 has increased capacity from 650MW in 2013 to 700MW in 2014. This is planned to increase to 775MW in 2015.

Including the new Fab 4 ramp to 250MW, SunPower will have a nameplate capacity of 1.7GW by the end of 2016.

Fab 5 update

According to Werner, the previously discussed next major production plant, Fab 5 would be “at least twice as big as Fab 4.” This would suggest that the nameplate capacity would in the 2GW range when built and fully ramped.

However, the CEO noted in the earnings call that the Fab 5 site selection analysis was still ongoing. However, the likely place would be in Malaysia with Fab 5, due to mature local infrastructure and access to trained staff.

Financial results

SunPower reported second quarter 2014 GAAP revenue of US$507.9 million, down from US$692.4 million. Gross margin was 18.5%, down from 23.5% in the prior quarter. The company reported a net loss of US$14.1 million, compared to a profit of US$65 million in the previous quarter.

The produced 306MW in the quarter and had recognised revenue on 311MW, down from 327MW in the prior quarter.

The company guided third quarter recognized revenue of 325MW to 360MW and reiterated guidance of 1,225MW to 1,300MW for the year.

GAAP Revenue for the third quarter was guided at US$575 million to US$625 million, reiterating full-year guidance of US$2.5 billion to US$2.7 billion.

Project pipeline

Despite being capacity constrained, SunPower increased in PV project pipeline by around 500MW since the first quarter, taking its total pipeline to 8GW.

The company highlighted that its North American commercial project pipeline exceed US$1 billion in value, supported by continued strong demand in that segment.

SunPower noted that within its power plants segment that the 579MW Solar Star project, the largest in the world was scheduled for completion the second half of 2015.
So far, SunPower has completed more than 270 Oasis power blocks at the project that accounted for over 1 million modules. A total of 228MW had been grid connected.

On the international front, SunPower said that its C7 CPV technology was being used in Inner Mongolia, China on projects totalling 115MW, with plans to expand its partnership with TZ Group to other regions in China.

The company noted that the partnership was working on a pipeline in the country of around 1GW. The C7 technology enables SunPower to boost project installations without impacting constrained module production. 

21 September 2021
C&I consumers currently source only about 7% of their power requirement directly from renewables. Indian corporate renewable market has grown rapidly and holds huge growth potential as companies look to reduce power purchase costs and cut carbon emissions. BRIDGE TO INDIA has built significant expertise in the corporate renewable business by working on over 30 consulting assignments and various research reports. We are organizing this conference to bring all stakeholders together and delve deeper into various market aspects. The conference will be held on a virtual platform with excellent networking opportunities for all participants.
22 September 2021
To commemorate the World Energy Storage Day(WESD) on 22 September, being recognized worldwide, Customized Energy Solutions (CES) and India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) is organising the 5th global conference and virtual expo, which will be held virtually on 22 September 2021. WESD is a global movement initiated by various apex trade bodies working to promote and adopt energy storage, e-mobility & green hydrogen technologies for a sustainable future. The forthcoming edition of WESD is expected to attract global participation with an intent to facilitate bi-lateral trade, market development and new research and innovation, which will invite 100+ countries, 100+ regulators & policy makers, 100+ International speakers,1000+ organisations, 100+ partners & exhibitors and 20,000+ global delegates.
28 September 2021
Solar Solutions International is the largest trade show for solar energy in Northwest Europe. Now the solar market has grown up, it's time for the next step. Solar Solutions International displays more than 500 innovations and over 100 practical seminars concerning the latest in energy storage, smart products, and an ever evolving array of solar panels. As an exclusively B2B trade show, Solar Solutions International offers both exhibitors and visitors the chance to network at the highest level. Duurzaam Verwarmd, the largest trade show for sustainable HVAC technology in the Benelux, is held simultaneously. This way your one visit gets you up to date with all of the developments in both sustainable energy and heating.
6 October 2021
Intersolar Europe is the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. It takes place as part of The smarter E Europe – the continent’s largest platform for the energy industry. Under the motto “Connecting solar business,” manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and project planners and developers from around the world meet in Munich every year to discuss the latest developments and trends, explore innovations firsthand and meet potential new customers.
6 October 2021
The future is bright for a new era of US solar and storage, and the 8th annual Solar & Storage Finance Summit will provide opportunities to discuss solutions to the industry’s challenges and provide a networking platform designed to bring together the top minds in the industry to do business. With a mix of high-level, informative presentations and panels, a stellar cast of speakers and audience members with deal-making capacity, the 2021 edition of the event will be a sell-out success.
18 October 2021
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil on October 18–20, 2021, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry.

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
September 21, 2021
Pressures on PV plant performance have led the solar industry to be more demanding and forensic of the data operational projects generate, as well as the power. Jules Scully explores the growing role software is playing in the utility-scale solar arena and how it must evolve further still to meet expectations.
September 21, 2021
A round-up of the latest news from the US PV sector, including project developments from Ørsted, Candela Renewables and CEP Renewables.
September 21, 2021
New York’s governor has proposed an expansion of the NY-Sun distributed solar incentive programme and revealed plans for two transmission projects that will transport renewable energy to New York City to help the state reach 70% renewable electricity by 2030.
September 21, 2021
German solar installer Enpal has raised €345 million (US$405 million) in debt financing to fund the deployment of more than 15,000 household solar PV systems
September 21, 2021
India added 521MW of rooftop solar in Q2 2021, an increase of 517% compared to the 85MW added in the same quarter last year despite a slight increase in costs, according to a Mercom India report.
September 21, 2021
Private equity firm American Securities has secured a deal to acquire US solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) provider Swinerton Renewable Energy and its operations and maintenance (O&M) subsidiary SOLV from Swinerton Incorporated.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021