David Kirkpatrick

December 11, 2008

Wal-Mart announces new solar power system

Filed under: Business, Science — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:01 pm

The release from minutes ago:

The Light Shines on: Wal-Mart and SunPower Announce Solar Power on Central Valley Store

Solar Power Pilot Project Complete at Hanford Wal-Mart

HANFORD, Calif., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWRA)(NASDAQ:SPWRB) today announced completion of a 554-kilowatt solar power system at the Wal-Mart store in Hanford, California.  The system is estimated to generate approximately 15 percent of the store’s electricity.

This Hanford store is part of a Wal-Mart pilot project to purchase solar power systems from SunPower and other solar providers for up to 22 Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Club locations and distribution centers in California and Hawaii.

It is expected these solar power systems at Wal-Mart’s facilities will replace 7,000 to 8,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.  The systems help move Wal-Mart towards its long-term goal to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, and will provide immediate cost savings over current utility rates.

“This project helps move Wal-Mart forward in our commitment to conserve energy, reduce energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, vice president of energy for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  “We are very pleased with SunPower’s work on the Hanford solar project and on all of our facilities on which they are building solar power systems.”

The Hanford Wal-Mart store, as well as the nearby Wal-Mart distribution center in Porterville, are two of eight Wal-Mart facilities in California to receive SunPower solar power systems, totaling 4.2 megawatts, by the end of this year.  The other six Wal-Mart facilities included in the SunPower contract are located in Chino, Simi Valley, Brea, Orange and Lakewood and Palmdale.

“Companies like Wal-Mart are turning to solar power because it makes good business sense and supports their environmental initiatives,” said Tom Werner, chief executive officer of SunPower Corp.  “Companies turn to SunPower because we have the most efficient solar technology in the world, and unparalleled experience in delivering high quality solar power installations anywhere and at any scale, from rooftops to parking structures to power plants.”

Wal-Mart plans to use the results of the solar power pilot project to explore additional ways to achieve its renewable energy goals and to determine how to move forward with solar power generation at additional Wal-Mart locations.

About Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States.  The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and, through a joint venture, in India.  The Company’s securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT.  More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com/.  Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com/ and http://www.samsclub.com/.

About SunPower

SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWRA)(NASDAQ:SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers.  SunPower high-efficiency solar cells and solar panels generate up to 50 percent more power than conventional solar technologies and have a uniquely attractive, all-black appearance.  With headquarters in San Jose, California, SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.  For more information, visit http://www.sunpowercorp.com/.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not represent historical facts.  The companies use words and phrases such as “will,” “is expected,” “plans,” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, the companies plans and expectations regarding: (a) the system generating approximately 15 percent of the store’s electricity; (b) the systems replacing 7,000 to 8,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year; (c) the systems helping Wal-Mart achieve its long-term goal to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy and provide immediate cost savings over current utility rates; (d) Wal-Mart using the results of the solar power pilot project to explore additional ways to achieve its renewable energy goals and to determine how to move forward with solar power generation at additional Wal-Mart locations.  These forward-looking statements are based on information available to the companies as of the date of this release and management’s current expectations, forecasts and assumptions, and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements.  Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond the companies’ control.  In particular, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ include: (i) actual electricity generation; (ii) the actual energy consumption rate; (iii) unexpected changes in utility service rates; (iv) variations in carbon dioxide emissions reductions; and (v) other risks described in SunPower’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 28, 2008, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the companies’ views as of any subsequent date, and the companies are under no obligation to, and expressly disclaim any responsibility to, update or alter their forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SunPower is a registered trademark of SunPower Corp.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Source: SunPower Corporation
   
Web site:  http://www.sunpowercorp.com/

September 24, 2008

Largest single-rooftop North American solar installation

I’m posting two releases on this very subject, mostly because they arrived in the inbox at 7:16 am and 7:19 am this morning.

The header from 7:16? “Toyota and SunPower Complete Largest Single-Roof Solar Installation in North America.” How about 7:19? “Trina Solar to Power North America’s Largest Single Rooftop Installation.”

These are two different installations and I’ll allow you to sort through the details and decide which is really the largest.

Unintentional comedy or not with the timing, this is good solar news. The more viable installations out there, the better.

The release from 7:16 am:

Toyota and SunPower Complete Largest Single-Roof Solar Installation in North America

ONTARIO, Calif. and SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Toyota and SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR), a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced the completion of the largest single-roof solar power installation in North America. The 2.3-megawatt SunPower system will begin operation in early October at Toyota’s North America Parts Center California (NAPCC) in Ontario, Calif.

Toyota expects the solar installation will provide nearly 60 percent of the total electricity needs for the 760,000-square foot NAPCC.  The system covers more than 242,000 square feet of the NAPCC’s roof and includes 10,417 solar modules, enough to cover more than four football fields. It is expected to avoid about 6.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually, which is the equivalent to the emissions from the energy use of approximately 255 homes in a year.

“Toyota’s Earth Charter challenges the company to pursue all possible environmental technologies in the pursuit of sustainable mobility,” said Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.  “That extends the company’s environmental responsibilities beyond products to include our manufacturing plants and other facilities where sustainable and renewable energy sources such as solar power are increasingly important.”

“Toyota is a global business leader in environmental sustainability,” said Tom Werner, chief executive officer of SunPower. “The solar power generated by this system will reduce Toyota’s operational costs at the Ontario facility immediately and over the long term, as electric utility rates continue to increase. Toyota understands that solar is affordable today as a means to improve the quality of our environment and promote local, clean, reliable power.”

SunPower installed SunPower(R) T10 Solar Roof Tiles at the Toyota facility, equipped with SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels available on the market today. T10 Solar Roof Tiles are non-roof penetrating and tilt at a 10-degree angle to increase energy capture.

Toyota will purchase the electricity generated from the system from GE Energy Financial under the SunPower Access(TM) power purchase agreement (PPA) program. GE Energy Financial will finance, own and operate solar power systems, providing Toyota with immediate savings and a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices. Toyota owns the renewable energy credits associated with the system.

The NAPCC is not Toyota’s first foray into solar power.  The company’s South Campus headquarters building in Torrance, Calif., featured one of the largest privately funded systems of its kind when it opened in 2003.  Also built by SunPower, the system covers 53,000 square feet of rooftop.

About Toyota

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion.  Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of more than 1,450 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers.  Toyota directly employs over 35,000 people in the U.S. and sold more than 2.6 million vehicles in 2007.  For more information about our company, please visit http://www.toyota.com/, http://www.lexus.com/ and http://www.scion.com/.

About SunPower

SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers. SunPower high-efficiency solar cells and solar panels generate up to 50 percent more power than conventional solar technologies and have a uniquely attractive, all-black appearance. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. For more information, visit http://www.sunpowercorp.com/. SunPower is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:CY).

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not represent historical facts. The companies use words and phrases such as “will,” “expects,” “is expected,” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, the companies’ plans and expectations regarding: (a) the system beginning operations in October; (b) the solar installation providing nearly 60 percent of the total electricity needs for the 760,000-square foot NAPCC; (c) Toyota avoiding about 6.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually, which is the equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the energy use of 255 homes in a year; and (d) the system reducing Toyota’s operational costs at the Ontario facility immediately and over the long term, as electric utility rates continue to increase. These forward-looking statements are based on information available to the companies as of the date of this release and management’s current expectations, forecasts and assumptions, and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond the companies’ control. In particular, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ include:  (i) construction difficulties or potential delays in the project implementation process; (ii) unanticipated delays or difficulties securing necessary permits, licenses or other governmental approvals; (iii) the risk of continuation of supply of products and components from suppliers; (iv) unanticipated problems with deploying the system on the sites; (v) actual electricity generation; (vi) the actual energy consumption rate; (vii) unexpected changes in utility service rates; (viii) variations in actual carbon dioxide emissions; and (ix) other risks described in SunPower’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 29, 2008, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the companies’ views as of any subsequent date, and the companies are under no obligation to, and expressly disclaim any responsibility to, update or alter their forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Source: SunPower Corporation
   
Web site:  http://www.sunpowercorp.com/
http://www.toyota.com/
http://www.lexus.com/
http://www.scion.com/

Find the second release after the jump:

(more…)

August 15, 2008

New solar plants in Cali to service almost 250,000

This deal is significant because it involves utility-scale solar photovoltaic plants. Pacific Gas & Electric inked contracts for two solar power plants and those deals brings its contractual commitment to alternative power to around 25%.

From the link:

Pacific Gas & Electric Co.announced two utility-scale solar photovoltaic contracts that will deliver a combined 800 megawatts of solar power to the utility from two massive solar power plants to be built in San Luis Obispo County.

The two plants combined will produce enough electricity to power approximately 239,000 homes a year, according to the utility.

PG&E said Thursday afternoon it entered an agreement with Topaz Solar Farms LLC, a subsidiary of OptiSolar Inc., for 550 megawatts of thin-film solar power. It also entered an agreement with High Plains Ranch II LLC, a subsidiary of SunPower Corp, for 250 megawatts of high-efficiency solar power.

The deals mark a significant commitment to solar PV technology and signal renewed interest in photovoltaic, which has been considered less economical than other types of large-scale solar power.

Up until now, most of the utility-scale solar contracts have been for solar thermal power plants, which utilize fields of mirrors to focus the sun’s rays to boil water and generate steam to power a turbine.

“These landmark agreements signal the arrival of utility-scale photovoltaic solar power that may be cost-competitive with solar thermal and wind energy,” Jack Keenan, chief operating officer and senior vice president for PG&E, said in a statement.