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SunPower and Apple Form JV to Run 40MW of PV Projects in China

published: 2015-04-17 15:36

Continuing its growth in the world's largest solar PV market, SunPower announced its plan to partner with Apple to build two solar power projects totaling 40 MW in ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures, Sichuan Province in China. When complete, the two projects will be co-owned by Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., Ltd., SunPower's project development joint venture, and Apple.

The projects include Hongyuan Huanju Ecological Energy Co., Ltd., (Hongyuan) located in Hongyuan County and Ruoergai Huanju Ecological Energy Co., Ltd., (Zioge) located in Ruoergai County. Both are in the ABA Prefecture and will be 20 MW each.

The projects are currently being constructed and are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015. When operating, the projects would generate up to 80 million kWh of solar power annually.

The Hongyuan project already has 2 MW connected to the grid utilizing SunPower's LCPV tracker. The technology combines single-axis tracking technology with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto high efficiency SunPower Maxeon™ cells, which are the world's most efficient commercially available mass-produced solar cells.

These are the first solar projects deployed in the ABA Region as well as SunPower’s first international solar collaboration with Apple. The projects will feature SunPower's "light-on-land" approach to solar PV power plant design and construction developed through its experience with over 2GW of power plant systems installed and operating globally. Utilizing this innovative dual-use approach means that pasture farming can continue while power is generated.

"Our unique, existing partnerships in China allowed for these projects to come to fruition quickly," said Tom Werner, president and CEO, SunPower. "These projects will provide clean, renewable energy, help address climate change, and continue to provide agricultural benefits to the local farmers, while protecting the area's precious land."

SunPower has provided its solar solutions to Apple on six U.S. projects totaling 90 MW in California, Nevada and North Carolina.

SunPower’s first China JV was with Huaxia CPV in Inner Mongolia to build a 300-MW LCPV cell receiver manufacturing facility in Jinquao Development Zone. It now operates three 50MW production lines. In October 2014, SunPower announced its second China JV, the Shentian joint venture, to develop and own at least 3GW of PV power plants in China. SunPower has committed a $20 million investment in this effort, in addition to supplying its solar solutions.

(Photo: Apple's the "Better" film from Apple Environmental Responsibility)

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