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SunPower breaks ground on new solar plant in California

Once complete, the 135 MW 'Quinto Solar Project' in Merced County will generate enough electricity to power 40,000 homes.

SunPower anticipates that about 295 jobs will be created during peak construction of the project, with around $80 million in local economic impact. In addition, more than $5 million of tax revenues will also be generated as a result of the project, SunPower estimates. The 135 MW system1 will generate power for Southern California Edison's customers, under a long-term power purchase agreement. SunPower expects to own and operate the solar power plant during construction.

After completion, which is scheduled for late 2015, the Quinto project is expected to generate enough electricity for 40,000 homes. According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the completed plant will offset the annual production of almost 134,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of removing more than half a million cars from California's roads over the next 20 years.

"The advantages of SunPower's technology, combined with our global footprint of more than 4 GW of operating solar systems, give us confidence to deploy a holdco strategy with regard to Quinto," said Tom Werner, president and CEO, SunPower. "This strategy allows SunPower to realise the return on investment from the leading power-producing performance of our technology, and reduces the risk to potential buyers if we decide to sell the operational plant."

Including the Quinto power plant, SunPower has more than 500 megawatts of residential, commercial and utility solar assets under contract around the world that it may choose to own for a period of time before a strategic sale or continue ownership post-construction during the operational phase of the project. Under this holdco strategy, SunPower expects to improve project margins and drive higher shareholder returns by capturing the material benefit of its lower system degradation rates, long-term project life as well as benefitting from distributions from the project as an equity owner.


  1. SunPower is constructing a SunPower® Oasis® Power Plant system at the 1,000- acre Quinto site. Oasis is a fully integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy utility-scale solar projects while optimising land use.

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Solar electricity