Maxeon Solar Technologies, the planned spin-off from SunPower Corp., has raised the bar for the solar industry with its new line of bifacial SunPower® Performance 5 panels, the fifth-generation performance solar panels designed specifically for large-scale power plant applications. These panels represent the latest chapter in the company’s legacy of shingled cell panel technology leadership that is now protected by more than 144 patents and patent applications. Performance 5 panels will be commercialized and begin delivery in the fourth quarter of 2020.
SunPower Performance 5 panels are engineered to meet the needs of large-scale, multi-megawatt solar power plants, and leverage the company’s extensive experience in designing, developing, building and operating more than five gigawatts (GW) of solar power plants across the globe. Among the first products to utilize bifacial mono-PERC solar cells made on large format eight-inch G12 wafers, the new Performance 5 panels offer industry-leading efficiency of over 21 percent along with enhanced shade tolerance and unparalleled durability to reduce system lifetime energy cost. With power ratings of up to 625 watts, these high-power panels are uniquely suited for the needs of power plant developers, maximizing energy production within available space.
“SunPower has more than three decades of innovation, including a history in the power plant segment – from the pioneering 10 megawatt (MW) Bavaria Solar One Project in 2004 to the 349 MW Australia Limondale project in 2020,” said Jeff Waters, CEO of Maxeon. “Our release of the new SunPower Performance 5 panels comes along with a renewed commitment to large-scale installations supported by significant manufacturing capacity scale-up of shingled cell panel technology by our Huansheng Photovoltaic (HSPV) joint venture in China. This expansion is highly capital efficient and will reinforce Maxeon’s leadership and reach as a premier supplier of levelized cost of energy-optimized panels into the large, mainstream utility-scale markets.”
Long-time partner and future Maxeon investor Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co. (TZS) recently announced an ambitious expansion program for the HSPV joint venture, with the implementation of three GW “smart fabs” at sites in both Yixing and Tianjin. HSPV capacity is planned to be increased from two GW to eight GW by 2021, with the first new facility planned for full ramp by the end of 2020.
The new SunPower Performance 5 panel will be publicly introduced and showcased during the TaiyangNews virtual conference, “500 W+ Solar Modules – How to Boost PV Panel Power to the Next Level”, on July 29 and 30.