China to Be SunPower’s ‘Fastest-Growing Region,’ CEO Werner Says

(Bloomberg) — China is becoming SunPower Corp.’s fastest-growing market following an agreement to build two solar farms
there with Apple Inc., Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner said.

“We’ll get a lot of business in China,” Werner said
Friday on Bloomberg Radio. “It will be our fastest-growing
region in the next five years, by far. The challenge is how you
do that profitably. That code hasn’t been broken by many Western
companies.”

Apple and San Jose, California-based SunPower said April 16
that they expected to finish construction on two 20-megawatt
projects in Sichuan Province in the fourth quarter. Financial
terms weren’t disclosed.

Apple powers all of its data centers with clean energy and
is seeking to run 100 percent of its facilities on renewables,
according to its website. For SunPower, the agreement boosts the
status of the second-biggest U.S. solar maker in the world’s
largest solar market.

“When we go to finance our projects in China, having Apple
co-own those projects is such a strong credibility boost that it
allows us then to get the rest of the financing in a very
economical way,” Werner said. “It’s a stamp of approval from
the most respected brand on the planet.”

Researchers associated with China’s central bank on
Wednesday proposed committing about $16 billion to clean-energy
investments.

China is the world’s biggest consumer of coal “and the air
quality is not very good,” Werner said. “That’s not going to
work longterm. They need more and more renewable energy.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Justin Doom in New York at
jdoom1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Will Wade, Robin Saponar

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