Drones Can Help SunPower Reduce Solar Costs by 30 Percent, CEO Says

SunPower Corp. is using drones, computer software and other technology that can cut the cost of its solar farms by as much as 30 percent, Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner said Tuesday in an interview.

The San Jose, California-based company announced a suite of new tools including solar trackers and robotic cleaners that will help it reduce design and labor expenses in a market that has become increasingly competitive as a manufacturing glut has driven down panel costs, Werner said.

“We are in a transition period in the solar industry where the strongest companies are going to separate themselves from the rest of the pack,” he said in a phone interview.

SunPower is also partnering with the University of California at Davis to develop large-scale solar plants that can be installed on agricultural land, Werner said.

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