San Jose, California [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] SunPower Corp., a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, inaugurated its second solar cell fabrication facility, referred to as cell Fab 2, in the Philippines earlier this week.
Located in Batangas, south of Manila, President Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines and The Honorable Raphael P. M. Lotilla, secretary of energy, were on hand to help inaugurate the facility on Monday, which has been recognized by the International Energy Agency for its superior energy-efficient design.
“Fab 2 will enable us to manufacture the world’s highest-efficiency solar cells while reducing the carbon footprint by 50 percent compared to other buildings of this size,” said PM Pai, chief operating officer of SunPower Corporation. “We welcome President Arroyo and Secretary Lotilla as we dedicate our new facility.”
The new manufacturing facility is approximately 43,000 square meters (nearly 463,000, square feet), twice as large as the company’s cell Fab 1, and will exclusively manufacture SunPower’s second-generation solar cells, known as Gen 2.
Cell Fab 2 will have a nameplate annual capacity rating of 330 megawatts. The building will house 10 solar cell production lines when fully online.
In addition, the building was designed with environmental sustainability in mind and engineered with a variety of energy efficient features that will help increase operations efficiency and cut energy costs. These features include:
• Improved HVAC cooling and heating systems that offers a much lower carbon footprint for a facility of this size and type
• 100 percent of the hot water heating capacity is generated by heat recovery air compressors
• Cooling system efficiency that uses approximately 40 percent less electricity compared to typical systems in the Manila area
• Improved, high-efficiency lighting that is 50 to 60 percent more efficient than standard lighting systems. The company will use 12 watt, LED lighting that will last for approximately 10 years to reduce its electrical usage.
“The inauguration of our second solar cell fab is an important step for SunPower,” added CEO Tom Werner. “When fully built out, Fab 2 will quadruple our total manufacturing capacity and create economies of scale that are an important element in our plan to reduce installed solar system costs by 50 percent by 2012.”