Back in April of 2011 the Federal Government loaned a company named SunPower almost 1.2 Billion dollars. This money was allocated to build a solar farm in California. It is to be a 250 Megawatt power station. This is enough power to energize 60,000 homes. That unto itself is not a horrible thing except that this is not the first loan guarantee and we all know what happened to the big loan guarantee to Solyndra. So when we hear about loan guarantees to a solar company we kinda flinch and our eyebrows begin to twitch. We wonder how much will this cost us? There is an upside, the energy plant will employee 350 people while being built. The Solar panels are expected to use up 1900 acres of land. To placate the environmentalists the plant is actually taking up over 4000 acres but they are preserving a little over 60 percent of the area.allocated for the project. They are spreading the arrays out all over the land and putting in a visitors center and an overlook for the facility. I can only imagine the visual climbing up to the top of the overlook to see a few acres of mirrors reflecting sunlight back a you. Oh the rapture! Look Mommy they are just sitting there shining. Cool! But I need to get back to the real point. It will take a whole lot of panels to cover 1900 acres and they need to be manufactured. SunPower needs a factory and they found the perfect place. Here is the press release.
SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB), a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced plans to own and operate a solar panel manufacturing facility in Mexicali, Mexico to meet the demand of a growing North American solar market.
SunPower plans to lease an existing building, which has up to 320,000 square feet of capacity. Today’s announcement is consistent with SunPower’s strategy to expand its upstream vertical integration for local panel manufacturing. SunPower will manufacture its high-efficiency E18 series, E19 series and world record setting E20 series solar panels for residential, commercial and power plant projects, and will also produce its SunPower® T5 Solar Roof Tile system.
SunPower worked closely with the Industrial Development Commission of Mexicali in locating its facility.
“Mexicali is rapidly becoming an industrial hub for high tech companies, offering an educated workforce and a growing manufacturing area,” said Mexicali Mayor Francisco Perez Tejada Padilla. “We welcome SunPower to our city and are pleased that they have chosen Mexicali to establish its solar panel manufacturing facility.”
“Establishing our own manufacturing facility in Mexicali means we will be positioned to quickly deliver our high-efficiency, high-reliability solar products to a growing North American solar market,” said Marty Neese, SunPower’s chief operating officer. “Over the past year, we have successfully ramped up manufacturing at Fab 3 in Malaysia where we set records for output and yield efficiency. SunPower also launched manufacturing in California, with a facility in Silicon Valley, and expanded our panel manufacturing in Europe.”
Mexico? We loan them 1.2 billion dollars and they build a factory in Mexico? Apparently this is okay with the Feds as they have not really comment on this since it was announced in August. Even more scary is the April release from the Energy Department about the loan and the construction. Secretary Chu announced that besides the 350 temporary jobs it will create 10-15 permanent jobs. So we get a big mirror in California with 10 people to watch it and Mexico gets a factory. The best use of 2 billion dollars I ever saw. NOT!
We need to stop the Government madness.