SunPower announced that it has manufactured its one billionth high efficiency solar cell. This milestone was achieved 11 years after the company started manufacturing its A-300 solar cell in its first fabrication facility (Fab).
Currently, SunPower operates two Fabs that will generate approximately 1,300 MW of solar cells by the end of this year. To meet growing demand for SunPower solar systems, the company is building a new 350-MW Fab, with first silicon expected in early 2015.
"SunPower is proud of the role we've played to help the global adoption of solar, which, over the past 11 years has experienced a 45% annual growth rate resulting in nearly 155 GW of installed power capacity today. This is enough to offset the electricity needs of over 25 million homes," said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. "The SunPower team has worked continually to improve our manufacturing and cost reduction processes in concert with advancements in research and development, always raising our own innovation bar. Solar is now more affordable, with demand for the residential, commercial and utility scale power plant markets at historic highs."
Since its founding in 1985, SunPower has continuously improved the design of its all-back contact, Maxeon® solar cell, beating its own world records for efficiency and reliability. In 2003, the company began mass production of its A-300 solar cell with efficiencies of 20 percent; and today commercially manufactures solar cells with efficiencies of up to 24.2 percent, the industry's highest. In addition, SunPower offers the most reliable cell on the market today, as confirmed by several independent testing organizations.