We recently saw a significant price decrease from the leading pv manufacturer SunPower. They have consistently lagged behind other manufacturers with their price decreases and we are glad that this is so. It may sound strange, but we are happy that SunPower is slow to react to market price dops and here is why – in 2013 they were able to generate $221 million in net profits of $2.6 billion revenue. It is of crucial importance for a manufacturer to generate net profits in order to re-invest in research and development and improved operations. Many leading pv manufacturers have struggled to maintain profitability in this very competitive market, especially in the face of continued Chinese dumping.
We also saw another big announcement from SunPower in the second half of last year, and that was the improved warranty. They offer a full 25 year workmanship and repair/replace/reimburse warranty on their modules in addition to the industry-leading 87% power guarantee warranty after 25 years. All of this is very strong, however there is another aspect of SunPower’s operations that make it even stronger. They are currently maintaining a $140 million long term warranty reserve fund. All while only showing 27 failures per 1 million modules shipped.
SunPower continues to charge a premium for their product compared to the myriad of their competitors on the low end. Despite this higher price, for many of our clients, we feel they offer the best long term value because of the quality of the product, the industry-leading efficiency, and the financial health of the corporation. SunPower employs about 1770 US workers among their global workforce of about 6000, and we are happy to be their partners. Good job on the recent price decrease, it will help us install more of these high quality products and make more clean energy.