SunPower Breaks Ground on 13.78-Megawatt Solar Power Plant at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake Expected to Save $13 Million in Electricity Costs Over 20 Years; First 20-Year Federal Government Power Purchase Agreement

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 18, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) today announced that the company has broken ground on a 13.78-megawatt (DC) solar photovoltaic (PV) power system at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS China Lake) in California. The plant is expected to create 140 jobs during construction, and generate the equivalent of more than 30 percent of NAWS China Lake's annual energy load, helping to reduce costs by an estimated $13 million over the next 20 years.

The plant is financed through a solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunPower. An affiliate of MetLife, Inc. purchased the system that SunPower designed and is building. NAWS China Lake will host the system, and buy electricity at prices currently below the retail utility rate, which provides the Navy with a long-term hedge against rising power prices with no initial capital investment. SunPower will operate and maintain the plant when it is completed at the end of this year.

This is the first 20-year term PPA with a federal agency. The 20-year PPA matches conventional project financing terms for solar power facilities and allows the Navy to secure electricity at up to 30 percent below the rate available through shorter duration 10-year PPAs.

"This 20-year PPA will significantly lower electricity costs to the U.S. Navy over the life of the system, and can be used as a template for additional large-scale federal solar projects," said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. "SunPower has more than a decade of experience and more than 50 megawatts installed or under contract with the federal government. We are pleased to be a leading solar provider to the U.S. government, delivering the industry's most efficient solar technology."

The plant at NAWS China Lake will use the SunPower Oasis™ Power Plant product, a fully integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use. Each power block integrates the SunPower® T0 Tracker with SunPower's high-efficiency, Buy American-compliant E20 series solar panels, pre-manufactured system cabling, the Oasis smart inverter, and the Oasis operating system. SunPower Oasis also features the SunPower advanced Tracker Monitoring and Control System (TMAC™) for wireless control of the power plant. The power block kits are shipped pre-assembled to the job site for rapid field installation, and offer the highest capacity factor and the most reliable long-term performance.

SunPower has worked with federal agencies since 1999, resulting in more than 25 megawatts of operating solar power systems at federal government facilities, including solar power plants at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Pearl Harbor, Ft. Dix, Coronado Island and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

About SunPower

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) 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 quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. For more information, visit 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. 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 "expected," "will" and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements in this press release, including forward-looking statements regarding (a) NAWS China Lake's expected ownership of the completed power system; (b) expected cost savings of the power system; and (c) SunPower building and operating and maintaining the power system. 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) construction difficulties or potential delays, including obtaining land use rights, permits, license, other governmental approvals, and transmission access and upgrades, and any litigation relating thereto; (ii) increasing competition in the industry and lower average selling prices, and impact on gross margin; (iii) timeline for revenue recognition and the impact on the company's operating results; (iv) the risk of continuation of supply of products and components from suppliers; (v) unanticipated problems with deploying the system on the site; and (vi) other risks described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 2, 2011 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 2, 2011, 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 Corp.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE SunPower Corp.



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