SunPower Corp. (SPWRA) announced that it will receive a $ 1.8 million grant, allowing it to explore photovoltaic (PV) energy storage for large commercial applications. This grant from the California Solar Initiative Research, Development, Deployment and Demonstration (CSI RD&D) Program was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in its second round of funding.
Under this program, SunPower will work to establish a pilot program for demonstrating the integration of advanced energy storage systems in combination with existing PV systems for commercial customers. The company will team up with three energy storage companies, Ice Energy, Xtreme Power and ZBB Energy for the program.
Additionally, SunPower plans to demonstrate the economic and operational benefits of combining PV with each of the partners’ storage devices with the help of a major retailer.
Through the California Solar Initiative (CSI) the CPUC aims at moving the state of California towards a cleaner energy future and help reduce the cost of solar systems for consumers. Furthermore, the commission targets creating roughly 1,940 megawatts of new, solar-produced electricity by 2016. Under the initiative, the commission plans to spend about $2.2 billion in a span of 10 years. The CSI program is composed of five distinct program components, one of which is the RD&D program.
The RD&D program, with an overall budget of $50 million, aims to achieve California’s goal of creating a vibrant solar industry. This program provides grants to fund solar research and demonstration projects focused on cost reduction and accelerating installation process of solar and other distributed technologies that could employ solar for generation, storage as well as reduce the use of natural gas.
Headquartered in San Jose, California, SunPower designs, develops, manufactures, markets and sells high-performance solar electric power technology products, systems and services worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers.
The fundamentals of SunPower appear strong, given the revival of the alternative energy industry and specifically solar power energy, higher captive generation of panels, rising average conversion efficiency, focus on solar projects, improving solar cell and panel production overheads, capacity expansions and low cost manufacturing base.
We currently have a long-term Neutral rating on the stock. SunPower retains its short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).