Sunpower has been the dog of the solar market in 2010 as competitive pressures from low cost Chinese companies have made investors question the long term sustainability of the company.But Sunpower has managed to survive with some smart deals like the manufacturing JV with AUO and focusing on the solar project development.Sunpower makes the world’s most efficient solar crystalline panels but comes at a much higher cost.This has led to erosion of its marketshare as cutthroat Asian companies have ruthlessly cuts prices and costs of solar panels.Sunpower has lost its dominant position in the US residential market with major Chinese companies like Trina,Suntech,Yingli and Canadian Solar winning large chunks.However Sunpower management has been a trier all along with its management constantly looking for ways to survive and proper .It has also started using less efficient solar panels for its projects as part of its strategy to compete.
Sunpower has touted its “Oasis” power 1 MW block as a low cost LCOE solution to the solar utility market.This power block which comes with most of the BOS parts assembled saves costs in installation through standardization and scale.The company won a massive 711 AC MW contract with USA utility Edison which is one of the largest in the solar energy history.Sunpower has also managed numerous wins in the government sector supplying solar panels to the US Air Force,Municipal Departments.Note Sunpower is the only major crystalline solar company in the USA to survive as competitors like Evergreen Solar are in the ICU.Except for First Solar,no major US solar company (for that matter European) has managed to fight the Chinese.Sunpower with its massive strengths in the utility market seems to have turned the corner in its fight for survival.Sunpower seems currently undervalued as it is trading near its book value and would be a great target for an acquisition by one of the green conglomerates like Siemens,GE.Note the recent “Buy American” Pentagon Law for Solar Panels should further solidify Sunpower’s position in the US government market.
SunPower Corp., the second-largest U.S. solar module manufacturer, won a contract to supply 711 megawatts of solar energy to a unit of Edison International.SunPower will build and operate three solar plants in the state. The first is expected to be completed by the end of 2014 and the other two by October 2016, the San Jose, California- based company said today in a statement.“This very large package provides SunPower with long-term visibility for our utility and power-plant group,” Julie Blunden, a SunPower vice president, said in an interview today.Edison’s Southern California Edison utility will purchase the solar plant output, enough for about 460,000 California homes, for an undisclosed amount. The contract makes Edison SunPower’s largest single customer, Blunden said.