February 7 (Renewables Now) - SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) has started assembling its 19% efficient P-Series solar panels at the SolarWorld Americas facility in Hillsboro, Oregon, which it bought in October 2018.
The company said in a statement today that it will commence fulfilling commercial customer orders and shipping locally-manufactured P19 solar panels in the coming weeks. Among the first customers that will receive US-made panels are a number of “high-ranking” Fortune 500 companies, an auto dealer in Texas and a church in Missouri, it noted.
Over the past four months, SunPower has been upgrading the Hillsboro facility to prepare it for P-Series production. Following the investment, the plant leverages US-made automated stringing equipment and employs about 200 people.
The P-Series panels are now being manufactured in several geographies as the company also has facilities in the Philippines and Malaysia. It decided to return to US production after President Donald Trump approved in January 2018 recommendations to impose a 30% year-one tariff on solar photovoltaic (PV) imports.