SunPower Corp. (www.sunpower.com), a company that makes solar panels, says it plans to partner with Apple to build two solar power projects totaling 40 megawatts (MW) in ABA Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures, Sichuan Province of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC).
When complete, the two projects will be co-owned by Sichuan Shengtian New Energy Development Co., SunPower’s project development joint venture, and Apple. The projects include Hongyuan Huanju Ecological Energy Co., Ltd., (Hongyuan) located in Hongyuan County and Ruoergai Huanju Ecological Energy Co., Ltd., (Zioge) located in Ruoergai County. Both are in the ABA Prefecture and will be 20 MW each.
The projects are currently being constructed, and the Hongyuan project already has 2 MW connected to the grid utilizing SunPower’s LCPV tracker. The technology combines single-axis tracking technology with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto SunPower Maxeon solar cells. Completion of the projects is expected in the fourth quarter of 2015.
These are the first solar projects deployed in the ABA Region. The projects are expected to provide up to 80 million kilowatt-hours per year while also protecting the ecosystem. The projects will feature SunPower’s unique “light-on-land” approach to solar photovoltaic power plant design and construction developed through its experience with over 2 gigawatts (GW) of power plant systems installed and operating globally. Utilizing this innovative dual-use approach means that pasture farming can continue while power is generated.
“This is a tremendous groundbreaking collaboration, bringing together a diverse group of experienced partners from different parts of the globe to build renewable solar energy ventures that contribute to the local economy and the environment. Our unique, existing partnerships in China allowed for these projects to come to fruition quickly,” says Tom Werner, president and CEO, SunPower. “These projects will provide clean, renewable energy, help address climate change, and continue to provide agricultural benefits to the local farmers, while protecting the area’s precious land. We continue to value our partnership with Apple and commend them for their global environmental commitment.”
SunPower has provided its solar solutions to Apple on six U.S. projects totaling 90 MW in California, Nevada and North Carolina. These China projects are SunPower’s first international solar collaboration with Apple.