SunPower Solar (SPWR) is a public solar manufacturing company headquartered in San Jose, California, with manufacturing operations in the Philippines.
The company designs and manufactures high-efficiency crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, roof tiles, and solar panels based on a silicon all-back-contact solar cell invented at Stanford University. In recent news, SunPower announced product development on a new panel system with 23.4% efficiency! That’s way above the industry average of 12%-20% at the high end. Unfortunately for home owners, though, this high-efficiency panel is only available to corporate clients at the moment.
SunPower is known for delivering professional results at an affordable price across the USA, and they partner with local installers in nearly every state to provide a free site evaluation — it’s definitely worth checking out, and their number is toll free 1-800-SUNPOWER (786-7693). Their stock price has been bouncing around a little bit recently, but as they are one of the big players in the industry, we are confident in their continued success. In fact, we’ve seen several SunPower installations go in near downtown Mountain View, CA, where the CleanTech Authority Network is based.
SunPower Solar Panels:
SunPower not only offers some of the most efficient solar panels in the industry, but also takes into account aesthetic considerations. SunPower is known for having some of the most aesthetically-pleasing solar panels on the market, featuring an “all black” look that blends nicely with most dark shingles. SunPower Signature Black panels come without the familiar grid lines, which is more harmonious with roof design. By contrast, competing solar panels have a grid of silver lacing and diamond shapes running throughout the panels.
In addition to two distinct looks, SunPower also offers three levels of technology, ranging from lower-efficiency (and more affordable) to higher-efficiency panels that cost more, but can save space, weight, and installation costs. The models are called 205, 210, and 215, with more details available at the SunPower website.
- SunPower E19 Series provides anti-reflective coating to increase sunlight absorption.
- SunPower E18 Series produces more energy than competing brands.
The SunPower Monitoring System is a revolutionary step taken by the company to provide more detail on use and performance to users.
- Web-based monitoring offers you the opportunity to get in touch with your system from wherever you are.
- A wall-mounted LCD display provides easy access to stats and performance details.
- SunPower can keep you informed about your system through your iPhone or a well-designed app for other smartphones.
- You can also leave monitoring up to your dealer or installer, who will be notified if the system encounters a problem.
SunPower offers flexibility when it comes to financing. The financing team of SunPower brings forward diverse options to cope with the needs of its customers:
- For big companies who can invest heavily in solar systems, SunPower offers accelerated depreciation and smooth processing of any associated tax credits.
- Companies that are not entitled to utilize tax incentives can go for lease options: SunPower leases the solar system for a period of 10-15 years, at the end of which you can either renew the lease or purchase the whole system.
- Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is offered by SunPower for commercial use: SunPower purchases, owns, maintains and insures the solar systems, and companies pay monthly for the electricity produced by the system.
- Commercial loans are also available for companies.
- Municipal financing is available for government entities.
SunPower began offering corporate discounts in 2008, and maintains an ongoing solar rebate for Hewlett Packard and Google employees in the USA. These employee solar-rebate programs can be found here and here. For more information, visit these URLs or contact SunPower directly.
some users have expressed the challenge to obtain just one SunPower panel, but they are only offered through certified installers who apply them to larger jobs. In one such case, a potential customer was attempting to purchase a single panel for his sailboat.
As the founder of the Cleantech Authority Network, I was successful in negotiating with local installers in Mountain View, California, to purchase four panels for use at information fairs such as the EV rally in Palo Alto. There are no guarantees, but with a bit of planning, a friendly request and an offer of up-front payment, your shot at getting a few SunPower solar panels for a small project is pretty good. It’s worth a try!