AUO SunPower Fab 3 Produces Initial Solar Cells Yielding 22.2 Percent Conversion Efficiency Joint Venture on Track to Meet Strong Demand in 2011
SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced that AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd., its joint venture (JV) solar cell fabrication facility (Fab 3) in Malaysia with AU Optronics Corp. (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO), has successfully manufactured the first 100 solar cells, yielding a minimum conversion efficiency of 22.2 percent.
"Our initial production runs at Fab 3 exceeded 22 percent conversion efficiency, a truly remarkable achievement," said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO. "This milestone positions AUO SunPower to meet the strong, global demand for our leading solar technology in 2011 and beyond. The combined AUO SunPower team has hit the ground running and is demonstrating our ability to attain our collective high standards of quality and reliability, while meeting our planned production schedules."
Construction and ramp of manufacturing in Fab 3 will continue through 2013 and, when complete, will generate more than 1,400 megawatts per year of high-efficiency solar cells. The company anticipates commercial production to ramp up later this year.
"The AUO SunPower JV combines SunPower's leading solar cell technology with AUO's advanced manufacturing technology and efficient management," said Mr. Feng Liang Chiu, President of AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd., appointed by AUO. "The AUO SunPower JV is a win-win alliance that provides customers the maximum value."
Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers the planet's most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
About AU Optronics
AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) is a global leader of thin film transistor liquid crystal display panels (TFT-LCD). AUO is able to provide customers with a full range of panel sizes and comprehensive applications, offering TFT-LCD panels in sizes ranging from 1.2 inches to greater than 65 inches. AUO generated NT$359.3 billion (US$11.2 billion) in sales revenue* in 2009 and now houses a staff of more than 42,000 employees, with global operations in Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the U.S., and Europe. Additionally, AUO is the first pure TFT-LCD manufacturer to be successfully listed at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). AUO extended its market to the green energy industry in late 2008, and formally founded its Solar Business Unit in October, 2009. The Display and Solar businesses were established respectively as the Company's two core businesses in October, 2010. For more information, please visit AUO.com.
*2009 year end revenue converted at an exchange rate of NTD31.95:USD1.
SunPower Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not represent historical facts and may be based on underlying assumptions. The company uses words and phrases such as " on track," "positions," "will" and "planned" to identify forward-looking statements in this press release, including forward-looking statements regarding (a) ability to meet global demand in 2011 and beyond; (b) production capacity of Fab 3; (c) expected ramp up of commercial production; and (d) Fab 3 completion schedule. Such forward-looking statements are based on information available to the company as of the date of this release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some beyond the company's control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements, including risks and uncertainties such as: (i) cost overruns, construction difficulties or potential delays; (ii) ability to ramp up production lines and realize manufacturing efficiencies; (iii) difficulties expanding our processes and technologies to larger production capacity; (iv) the company's ability to obtain and maintain an adequate supply of raw materials and components as well as the price it pays for such items; (v) difficulties in acquiring and implementing custom production equipment; (vi) unanticipated delays or difficulties securing necessary permits, licenses or other governmental approvals; (vii) unanticipated problems with manufacturing and maintaining expected yield; (viii) problems with managing and operating the JV with AU Optronics; (ix) JV's ability to obtain additional financing; and (x) other risks described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 3, 2010 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended July 4, 2010, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company's views as of any subsequent date, and the company is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SunPower is a registered trademark of SunPower Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE SunPower Corp.