), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high efficiency solar
cells, solar panels and solar systems announced that it is
renewing its supplier partnership with GRID Alternatives.
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GRID Alternatives is a non-profit organization that brings the
benefits of solar technology to low-income communities. Using a
barn-raising model, GRID Alternatives leads teams of volunteers
and job trainees to install solar power on qualifying homes,
providing needed savings for families struggling to make ends
meet while preparing workers for jobs in the fast-growing solar
industry and cleaning our air. Nearly 3,000 California families
have benefited from the program to date, saving more than $80
million in lifetime electricity costs, and more than 11,000
people have received hands-on solar installation experience.
Under the terms of the agreement, SunPower is providing GRID
Alternatives with its high efficiency solar panels through a
combination of donations and fair market value sales. The renewed
commitment will bring solar technology to underserved communities
across California and Colorado, generating approximately $4.8
million in energy savings over a 30-year life of the solar power
systems. In addition, the partnership will provide thousands of
hands-on training opportunities for job seekers through GRID's
volunteer-based installation model.
SunPower has worked with GRID Alternatives since 2006 providing
philanthropic gifts and equipment and donating more than 1,300
employee volunteer hours to help hundreds of families install
solar electric systems on their rooftops. This seven-year
partnership is expected to generate approximately $15 million in
savings for these families over the life of their systems.
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's customer base is spread across North America, Europe,
the Middle East, Asia and Australia. The company is proactive in
entering new markets. In addition to a sizeable presence in the
US, it is already focusing on improving market share in France,
Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan, while gaining new market share
in emerging markets like England, Greece, Israel and Malta.
SunPower is also increasing its global market presence within the
residential and commercial markets by expanding its network of
dealers. Finally, by steering clear of long-term contracts for
sales through its dealer network, the company is geared for
margin growth on the back of any short-term upswing in the solar
market. SunPower mainly competes with
First Solar, Inc.
SunPower is however witnessing falling Average Selling Prices and
margins in its residential and small commercial markets segment
which accounts for approximately two-thirds of its top line. 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. Other risks include subsidy
roll-back in Europe and foreign exchange risk. SunPower presently
retains a short-term Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
In the near term, we would rather advise investors to accumulate
the short-term Zacks Rank #2 (Buy rating) stock
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd.