) announced that it has invested in Diamond Energy Pty Ltd (Diamond
Energy), a privately-owned, alternative energy project developer
and clean electricity retailer headquartered in Melbourne,
Australia. SunPower has acquired a minority stake of approximately
42% in Diamond Energy and under terms of the agreement has an
option to increase its ownership percentage over time. SunPower
will also assume a seat on the company's board of directors.
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Aligning with Diamond Energy will allow SunPower to offer more
comprehensive and customizable clean energy solutions for customers
in Australia. The unique partnership creates a one-stop shop for
consumers, providing high efficiency solar electric systems,
grid-source renewable energy, and retail services such as metering,
billing, and management of exported electricity to the grid.
Established in 2004, Diamond Energy specializes in developing,
delivering and managing renewable generation, cogeneration and
interruptible load projects with a breadth of experience spanning
solar, bioenergy, wind and wave technologies. The company currently
owns two biogas plants, has power purchase agreements with a number
of third-party generators and as Australia's "Solar Friendly
Retailer" sells clean energy through its retail divisions to its
residential and Commercial Green customers. Diamond Energy holds
licenses to deliver electricity across the National Electricity
Market ("NEM") in Australia.
SunPower and Diamond Energy will also work for the development of
commercial and utility solar power projects in Australia,
leveraging SunPower's experience, delivering more than 1,000
megawatts of cost-competitive, large-scale solar power systems
worldwide. With a presence in the country since 2008, SunPower has
deployed the utility-scale Uterne solar power plant in Alice
Springs and delivered commercial-scale solar power systems for
customers such as Crowne Plaza Hotel, Perth Zoo, Central Institute
of Technology and Midland Redevelopment Authority.
SunPower is a vertically integrated solar company with presence
across the entire solar value chain. The company designs, develops,
manufactures, markets and sells high-performance solar electric
power technology products, systems and services worldwide for
residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers.
The company's semiconductor-based solar cells and solar panels,
which convert sunlight into electricity, are manufactured using
proprietary processes and technologies. SunPower is largely owned
by French oil major
SunPower is witnessing falling ASPs and margins in its residential
and small commercial markets segment which accounts for
approximately two-thirds of its topline. We expect the trend to
continue unabated in the near future with valuation further
restrained by the higher cost structure of the company compared to
its peers besides subsidy roll-back risk in Europe and foreign
SunPower presently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) that
corresponds with our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.
SunPower mainly competes with
Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd.
First Solar, Inc.