World news – SunPower is handling the Hillsboro assembly plant

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The Hillsboro plant began production of the P-series modules in February 2019 and had an output of around 120 MW. Image: SunPower Corp.

SunPower will permanently close its solar module assembly plant in Hillsboro, Oregon, and lose around 170 jobs.

SunPower had outsourced its loss-making production operations to Maxeon Solar Technologies in August 2020, with the exception of the small one Assembly plant in Hillsboro, which the company had acquired from SolarWorld after the bankruptcy of the German solar manufacturer. Sunpower had rebuilt a small portion of the facility to manufacture its P-Series panels using Passive Emitter Back Cell (PERC) and patented clapboard cell interconnection technology.

The Hillsboro facility began production of the P-series modules and had an output of around 120 MW.

« We made the difficult but necessary decision to close our plant after carefully examining and changing the focus of our business over the past few months, » said Tom Werner, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SunPower. « We know how difficult this is for all affected employees and are determined to help them make this transition. »

SunPower expects to cease operations in Hilsboro by March 2021 and complete the wind down of the facility in early June. However, the company announced that it would look into other options such as selling the facility and considering a joint venture option.

Virtually all PV modules for large utility solar systems are imported into the US, especially by Chinese companies, use the manufacturing facilities across Southeast Asia.

This is putting extreme pressure on US site developers, EPCs, and investors to fully understand the differences between companies offering imported PV modules

How credible are the companies that supply the products? How is the financial health of the parent company? Where is the module manufactured and is this done in-house or by third-party OEMs? What is the supply chain for the module sub-components including wafers and cells? And how will the modules then behave on site, and is it possible to measure the reliability levels compared with competitors?

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Ref: https://www.pv-tech.org

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