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SunPower to Build Solar Projects

FSLR SPWR

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Tenesol, a subsidiary of SunPower Corporation (SPWR - Analyst Report), in collaboration with AE-AMD Renewable Energy has made announcement for the construction of two South African ground-mounted solar power projects near Douglas, South Africa in the Northern Cape Province.

The two projects, Herbert and Greefspan, with power generation capacity of 33 megawatts (“MW”) will be constructed by Tenesol. These two ground-mounted solar systems will feature 138,000 Tenesol TE 240 photovoltaic solar panels on single-axis trackers. Tenesol holds 5% share in the two projects. SunPower had acquired Tenesol in January 2012.

Of the two projects, Tenesol has begun the construction of the first 22 MW Herbert project, whereas construction for the 11 MW Greefspan project will begin in the near term. Both the projects are expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2014. The projects are expected to generate local construction jobs while delivering clean and reliable energy to the community.

AE-AMD Renewable Energy is a joint venture between the Spanish AMDA energia and the South African Alt-E Technologies. Post construction, both the projects will be owned by AE-AMD Renewable Energy in partnership with the IDEAS Fund. IDEAS Fund is an infrastructure fund managed by Old Mutual Investment Group of South Africa. The electricity will be sold by the partnership to Eskom.

Besides, designing and manufacturing solar panels and systems, the company also has a successful track record of building solar power plants around the world. Recently, in October, the company announced the completion of a 13.78-megawatt (“DC”) solar photovoltaic (“PV”) power system at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California. With the help of SunPower’s Buy American-compliant solar panels, the plant is generating the equivalent of more than 30% of China Lake's annual energy load, thereby reducing costs by an estimated $13 million over the next 20 years.

However, SunPower Corporation is not the only solar power company that is focusing on construction of solar projects that help in generating clean energy. Recently in October, another leading global provider of comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solar systems First Solar, Inc. (FSLR - Analyst Report) was chosen by Dubai Electricity & Water Authority for the construction of a solar PV power plant in Seih Al Dahal, approximately 50 kilometers south of Dubai. First Solar will provide engineering, procurement and construction services, as well as its advanced thin-film PV modules. The plant will be able to produce using both PV and solar thermal technology.

Based in San Jose, California, SunPower Corporation designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system.

SunPower Corporation is a vertically-integrated solar manufacturer, with presence in the entire solar value chain from cells through installation. Going forward, we are bullish on the company due to its diversified channel strategy with a strong presence in the residential and commercial market, along with its status as a conversion efficiency leader. The company presently retains a short-term Zacks #2 Rank (Buy). We have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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