SunPower to Build Solar Power Plants Totaling 16.5 MW in Italy

SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) and Sol.In.Build Srl, a majority owned subsidiary of Veronagest SpA, today announced an agreement to build seven solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants totaling 16.5 megawatts in the Sicily region of Italy.
Located on a combined total of 63 hectares, the seven plants will range in size from one to 3.5 megawatts, and will be complete by September 2010. Up to 50 jobs are expected to be created during construction.

The construction will be financed by a pool of leading Italian and international banks including Societe Generale, Unicredit Medio Credito Centrale and Dexia.

"SunPower’s high-efficiency solar technology makes sense for these projects because it can be constructed quickly anywhere, including on the very sloped terrain at some of these sites," said Veronagest Chief Executive Officer Alberto Malagodi. "As a result, we will optimize energy production, helping to meet our financial objectives and Italy’s renewable energy goals."

At all of the Sol.In.Build sites, SunPower will install SunPower panels, the most efficient solar panels commercially available, on fixed-tilt system technology and SunPower T0 Tracker systems. Fixed tilt systems will be used in areas with steep slopes and uneven terrain to optimize land use in those areas. The T0 Tracker tracks the sun during the day to maximize energy delivery, and requires only half the land area to produce the same amount of energy as conventional dual-axis trackers. Both technologies feature a modular design for fast, easy installation.

"High-efficiency SunPower technology at these sites will minimize land use and maximize the amount of reliable, emission-free solar power generated per hectare, which is one of the priorities of Veronagest and the Sicily region," said SunPower Vice President Gian Maria Ferrero. "This is the largest solar project to be financed in Italy this year, which underscores financier confidence in SunPower’s technology and experience."

The seven power plants will be built in the Sicilian municipalities of Cerami, Licata, Caltanissetta, Calamonaci, Mussomeli and Cammarata.

SunPower has more than 200 megawatts of solar power plants operating globally today, including Italy’s largest solar power plant, the 24-megawatt plant in Montalto di Castro. SunPower recently finalized the acquisition of SunRay Renewable Energy, a leading European solar power plant developer with a principle project office in Rome. With the acquisition, SunPower expanded its pipeline of solar PV projects to more than 1,200 megawatts in Italy, France, Israel, Spain, the United Kingdom and Greece.

Veronagest is an independent player in the Italian renewable energy sector. The company is involved in the development, construction and operation of solar and wind power plants. The company experienced impressive growth in the last two years, particularly in the wind sector, completing five operating wind farms with a consolidated installed power of 230 megawatts. The company has two wind farms under construction totaling 102.5 megawatts and aims to become one of the leading players in the referring market. Thanks to its partnership with SunPower, Veronagest officially entered into the photovoltaic sector with the aim of constructing a pipeline of more than 50 megawatts.

Founded in 1985, SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers the planet’s most powerful solar technology broadly available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company’s experience and proven results to maximize return on investment. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.