California-based SunPower is expanding its operations into Mexico in an effort to better serve the North American market, the company has announced.
The solar producer plans to own and operate a manufacturing facility in Mexicali, Mexico. It has already identified an existing building with 320,000 square feet of capacity, which it intends to lease. The company will produce its E18, E19, and world-record setting E20 solar panels at this facility.
The move into Mexico was necessitated by growing solar demand in North America. For example, the U.S. solar industry is experiencing tremendous growth thus far in 2011. The latest research shows a 66% increase in grid-connected photovoltaic installations in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the first quarter of 2010. Additionally, PV module manufacturing in the United States grew 31% over the past year.
To that end, SunPower has also opened up a production facility in California. It has also ramped up production at its manufacturing plants in Europe and Malaysia.
Marty Neese, SunPower's chief operating officer, said, "Establishing our own manufacturing facility in Mexicali means we will be positioned to quickly deliver our high-efficiency, high-reliability solar products to a growing North American solar market."
The company also recently made another high-profile international splash with the announcement that Mahindra EPC Services has ordered 15 MW of PV panels for installation in India. India is one of the world's fastest growing solar markets.
With its recent billion dollar partnership with oil and gas giant, Total, SunPower is positioning itself to have the reach to not only penetrate the Indian and North American industries, but all emerging solar markets. The company is set to release its second quarter next week.
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