SunPower Corp. has started construction on the 135 MW Quinto solar project in Merced County, Calif. The facility will generate power for Southern California Edison under a long-term power purchase agreement.
In accordance with the company's ‘holdco’ strategy, SunPower expects to own and operate the solar power plant during construction, which is scheduled to be completed in late 2015.
‘This strategy allows SunPower to realize the return on investment from the leading power-producing performance of our technology and reduces the risk to potential buyers if we decide to sell the operational plant,’ says Tom Werner, SunPower's president and CEO.
Under its holdco strategy, SunPower says it expects to improve project margins and shareholder returns by capturing the material benefit of its lower system degradation rates, long-term project life and distributions from the project as an equity owner.
Including the Quinto power plant, SunPower has more than 500 MW of residential, commercial and utility solar assets under contract around the world that it may choose to own for a period of time before a strategic sale or continue ownership post-construction during the operational phase of the project.