SunPower Corp. has appointed Jeff Waters the new CEO of the SunPower Technologies business unit, which includes global manufacturing, research and development (R&D), and SunPower Solutions.
Waters, who begins his new role immediately, joins SunPower from Isola, where he worked from Silicon Valley as the company’s president and CEO. Isola designs, develops, manufactures and markets copper-clad laminates and dielectric prepregs used to fabricate multilayer printed circuit boards. Like SunPower, Isola has a significant global footprint with manufacturing and R&D and has offices in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
“We’re pleased to welcome someone of Jeff’s caliber to lead our global manufacturing operations, R&D work, and our ongoing, successful cost-reduction activities,” states Tom Werner, SunPower’s CEO and chairman of the board.
Prior to Isola, Waters served as senior vice president and general manager at Altera Corp., as well as at Texas Instruments/National Semiconductor in both the U.S. and Japan in a variety of executive positions, including global sales. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in engineering from Santa Clara University and an MBA from Northwestern University.
Werner says SunPower plans to ramp up the production of its Next Generation Technology (NGT) cells and modules and “deliver on [its] commitment to American manufacturing.”
SunPower’s NGT cells and modules will offer customers similar performance to its X-Series products with significantly lower manufacturing costs, the company says. Panels with a 72-cell format at 450 W have been UL-certified and will be delivered to initial commercial customer sites in the first quarter of this year.
“When we reach full production, we expect that the cost per watt of the world’s highest-efficiency NGT cells and modules will be similar to mono-PERC technology, but with superior levelized cost of energy due to higher performance and durability,” Werner continues. “With the recent funding of our second NGT manufacturing line, we will now have approximately 250 MW of nameplate NGT capacity by the end of 2019 and plan to deliver meaningful volumes this year, as well.”
In addition to ramping up NGT, SunPower will begin full production in the coming weeks of its Performance Series (P-Series) solar panels at the recently acquired SolarWorld Americas facility in Hillsboro, Ore.
SunPower has also announced that Bill Mulligan, executive vice president of operations, will transition out of his role over the course of the year.