Solar news: April 20th, 2018

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In this week’s Solar News Roundup, SunPower acquires SolarWorld Americas, and Apple announces that their global facilities are 100% powered by clean, renewable energy.

SunPower acquires SolarWorld Americas

In a move that promises to stir up the U.S. solar industry, SunPower officially announced this week that it has acquired 100% of SolarWorld Americas, one of the companies that initially asked for a tariff on imported solar panels. While most of SunPower’s manufacturing capacity takes place in the Philippines and Malaysia, SolarWorld Americas operates a production plant in Hillsboro, Oregon. The acquisition takes place many months after SolarWorld Americas was put up for sale in 2017 by SolarWorld AG, its German parent company.

“The time is right for SunPower to invest in U.S. manufacturing, and SolarWorld Americas provides a great platform for us to implement our advanced P-Series solar panel manufacturing technology right here in our home market,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. SunPower has stated that it will invest money directly into SolarWorld’s Hillsboro manufacturing facility to convert it to production of their own P-Series solar modules.

The move allows SunPower to avoid President Trump’s solar tariffs on imported cells and modules, which may allow the company to lower prices for its high-efficiency panels. When the deal is officially completed, SunPower will become the largest U.S. manufacturer of silicon solar modules.

Apple’s global facilities are now powered 100% by renewables

As a longtime industry leader in computer technology, Apple is stepping up to the plate to become a leader in renewable energy as well. This past week, the company announced that its global facilities, from retail stores to data centers, are powered by 100% renewable energy. The company currently has 626 megawatts (MW) of renewable generation capacity worldwide, with 286 MW of that total coming from solar photovoltaics.

Apple isn’t done working towards sustainability in their business practices. “We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it,” stated CEO Tim Cook.

Apple clearly values sustainability and improving the world through smart energy use. They have 15 more renewable energy projects currently under construction, which will bring their total generating capacity worldwide to over 1.4 gigawatts (GW). Apple has announced that they have commitments from 23 of their suppliers to work towards 100% renewable power as well.

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About Jacob Marsh

Jacob is a researcher and content writer at EnergySage, where he focuses primarily on current issues–and new technology!–in the solar industry. With a background in environmental and geological science, Jacob brings an analytical perspective and passion for conservation to help solar shoppers make the right energy choices for their wallet and the environment. Outside of EnergySage, you can find him playing Ultimate Frisbee or being ultra-competitive at a new, obscure board game.

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