SunPower to build 160 MW panel fab in South Africa

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SunPower said on Tuesday that planned to own and operate a solar panel manufacturing facility in Cape Town, South Africa, to meet the growing demand for solar in the region.

SunPower will manufacture its high-efficiency SunPower E20/440 solar panels and expects to produce up to 160 MW annually. The facility will also house SunPower’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operations and management (O&M) offices, consolidating its South African operations under one roof.

"SunPower has a significant presence in the South African solar market, including two large power plants built this year and another one that will begin construction soon," noted SunPower Chief Operating Officer Marty Neese. "By manufacturing our high efficiency solar panels at this new facility, we will not only help the local economy, but continue to deliver clean, renewable energy to this region."

Earlier this year, SunPower completed construction of two ground-mounted solar projects totaling 33 MW located near Douglas in the Northern Cape Town province. Additionally, a consortium led by South African renewable energy project developer Mulilo and French oil and gas giant Total has tapped SunPower as the preferred EPC and O&M contractor for an 86 MW project in round three of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) program. SunPower is an affiliate of Total.