SunPower will invest U$15 million, out of the total capitalization of $60 million, for an ownership stake of 25%. The joint venture is still subject to approval of the Chinese government. The initial C7 deployment is expected to begin at the end of 2013.
"This agreement capitalizes on the capability of SunPower’s next generation C7 technology to deliver industry leading cost effective energy," said Tom Werner, SunPower President and CEO. "Working together with our team of strong local partners who bring different strengths to this project, we believe that we can deploy significant volumes of C7 power plants to help serve China’s growing need for clean power. We also expect that this venture will facilitate the development of a low cost, high volume C7 supply chain and accelerate our C7 cost reduction roadmap."
The SunPower C7 is a single-axis tracker with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto SunPower Maxeon cells which have a 22.8% efficiency. SunPower states that by using mirrors to reduce the number of cells needed to generate power, the levelized cost of energy is reduced by up to 20%. For example, a 400 MW C7 power plant requires less than 70 MW of SunPower solar cells.