SunPower lands sweet array of government contracts

Solar energy company SunPower Corp. has landed a sweet array of installation contracts for U.S. government entities, amounting to about 20 megawatts’ worth of new solar projects for groups such as the Navy and Marine Corps.

The company declined to release how much these contracts are worth financially, but to give some idea of their impact, SunPower is saying the new business will generate 1,000 local jobs during their construction.

One of the plums SunPower scored was being one of five solar companies awarded what’s called an “indefinite delivery-indefinite quantity contract” by the Navy, which has five years to disperse $200 million. SunPower will be tapped to design, build, operate and maintain solar power systems for installations in the southwest U.S.

This follows the company’s announcement earlier this month that it had won a contract to install a 15-megawatt project at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona, to be the largest solar power installation at a government facility.

In a company-issued statement, director of federal accounts Karen Butterfield said, “SunPower has the experience and credibility to successfully navigate the federal procurement process and deliver reliable, high performance solar systems that meet agency requirements. With the addition of a U.S.-based panel manufacturing facility this year, we have also bolstered our ability to serve this growing demand.”

Other projects noted in the contracts:

- A two-megawatt solar power system at a new “ultra-low energy office complex” and two parking lots at the Department of Energy’s new Research Support Facility on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory campus in Golden, Colo. Funding will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the project is expected to finish in 2011.

- The General Services Administration (GSA) will use SunPower’s T5 Solar Roof Tile system in their General Emmett Bean Federal Building in Indianapolis, with the project set to complete in January. The finished product would be the largest solar power system on a GSA facility.

SunPower is the latest in a series of companies who’ve benefited from government spending in the greening of federal buildings. Lumenergi closed a $12.7 million second round of funding led by Braemar Energy Ventures last week. The company makes energy-efficient networked lighting systems currently popular with new government construction – with contracts awarded at federal buildings in New Hampshire and Nevada.

Image courtesy of SunPower Corp.