sunpower.bmpSolar panel maker SunPower has agreed to acquire solar intaller PowerLight for about $332.5 million, creating a solar giant.

The purchase will bolster the wave of investments in solar; it proves there’s a way to make profits. PowerLight had received about $20 million in backing from investors, including Bay Area Equity Fund and New Energies AG.

They are the two largest solar players in the valley, and complement each others business. SunPower, of San Jose, makes efficient panels, but needs to distribute them to installer-contractors. Berkeley’s PowerLight, a leading installer, will help grease that process. See Merc story by Sarah Tribble.

The deal includes $265 million immediately, and the $67.5 million balance to be paid in two to four years.