California-based SunPower Corp. says it plans to own and operate a solar panel manufacturing facility in Cape Town, South Africa.
SunPower will manufacture its E20/440 solar panels at the new plant and expects to produce up to 160 MW annually. The company estimates that it will create up to 150 local jobs and will begin recruitment efforts in the first quarter of 2015.
The facility, which is scheduled to open in 2015, will also house SunPower's engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operations and management (O&M) offices, consolidating its South African businesses.
‘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,’ says Marty Neese, SunPower's chief operations officer. ‘Our investment in this new plant is part of our commitment to the local South African PV market, and meets our objective to build a sustainable business through local investment and create jobs.’
Earlier this year, SunPower completed construction of two ground-mounted solar projects totaling 33 MW in the Northern Cape province. Additionally, SunPower has been appointed as the preferred EPC and O&M contractor for an 86 MW project in the forthcoming round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement program.