Apr 22, 2009
Exelon and SunPower to Develop Nation's Largest Urban Solar Power Plant
10-megawatt solar installation would turn Chicago South Side brownfield site into a source of low-carbon electricity
CHICAGO (April 22, 2009) Exelon and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) today announced an agreement to develop the nation's largest urban solar power plant at a former industrial site on Chicago's South Side. The 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) facility is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.
The $60 million project is contingent upon Exelon receiving a federal loan guarantee under the recently passed federal stimulus legislation formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes provisions for investment in green jobs and emissions reduction. Exelon is seeking a loan guarantee for up to 80 percent of the project cost from the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program Office (LGPO).
Exelon plans to lease 39 acres of the West Pullman Industrial Redevelopment Area from the City of Chicago for the project. The former industrial site is a "brownfield" property that will be redeveloped for productive reuse. Exelon Generation will own and operate the plant and market the electricity and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) it generates. SunPower, a manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, will design, manufacture and install the solar system.
"With nearly 2,000 megawatts of renewable power in our energy portfolio, including hydro-electricity, wind, landfill gas and solar, Exelon is investing aggressively but wisely in renewables as part of our comprehensive environmental strategy, Exelon 2020," said Exelon Chairman and CEO John W. Rowe. "As a provider of electrical service in urban areas, we understand the importance of finding urban locations for renewable energy and we are pleased to bring the largest urban solar installation to West Pullman, helping to revitalize an area where industry once thrived."
The project's 32,800 solar panels will convert the sun's rays into enough clean, reliable electricity to meet the annual energy requirements of 1,200 to 1,500 homes per year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's system for calculating emissions savings, the installation will displace approximately 31.2 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the equivalent of taking more than 2,500 cars off the road or planting more than 3,200 acres of forest.
"Today, SunPower's solar PV technology can be implemented anywhere and at any scale from rooftops, to parking lots, to utility-scale power plants, and urban industrial sites," said SunPower Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner. "Delivering a 10-megawatt solar plant in a space-constrained, 39-acre area is only possible using SunPower's high-efficiency solar technology, which generates more power per square foot than competing technologies."
Exelon and SunPower's environmentally sustainable design supports the City of Chicago's efforts to create an environmental legacy for its residents. The project will create about 200 jobs at prevailing wage rates during construction, maximizing the use of local labor and providing job training opportunities. The solar power systems will consist of many U.S.-made components, including steel tubing sourced from businesses on Chicago's South Side.
"Exelon's planned solar installation will benefit the West Pullman community in many ways, including increased economic activity, new jobs, and the revitalization of these unused parcels of land," said Chicago 34th Ward Alderman Carrie M. Austin. "Exelon has always been a great corporate citizen to Chicago, and I look forward to working with Exelon and the community to bring this high-tech solar plant to the West Pullman area."
SunPower solar panels generate up to 50 percent more power than conventional solar panels and two to four times as much power as thin-film solar technology. Exelon selected SunPower® Trackers, solar tracking systems that tilt toward the sun as it moves across the sky, increasing daily energy production by up to 25 percent, improving the economics of solar power and reducing land-use requirements. SunPower has installed more than 500 solar power systems totaling more than 400 megawatts worldwide, including solar power plants in Europe, Asia and North America.
The project supports Exelon 2020, Exelon's strategy to reduce, offset or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2020. Among other things, Exelon 2020 calls for Exelon to offer more low-carbon electricity in the marketplace that will replace electricity generated by higher-emitting energy sources.
Exelon Corporation is one of the nation's largest electric utilities with nearly $19 billion in annual revenues. The company has one of the industry's largest portfolios of electricity generation capacity, with a nationwide reach and strong positions in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Exelon distributes electricity to approximately 5.4 million customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania and natural gas to 485,000 customers in the Philadelphia area. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.
Exelon Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made herein. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include those discussed in (1) Exelon's 2008 Annual Report on Form 10-K in (a) ITEM 1A. Risk Factors, (b) ITEM 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and © ITEM 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data: Note 18; and (2) other factors discussed in Exelon's filings with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which apply only as of the date of this press release. Exelon does not undertake any obligation to publicly release any revision to its forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this communication, except as required by law.
SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers. SunPower high-efficiency solar cells and solar panels generate up to 50 percent more power than conventional solar technologies and have a uniquely attractive, all-black appearance. With headquarters in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
SunPower Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not represent historical facts and may be based on underlying assumptions. The company uses words and phrases such as "to develop," "scheduled," "plans," and "will," to identify forward-looking statements in this press release, including forward-looking statements regarding: (a) SunPower designing, manufacturing, installing and completing development of the 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic system by the end of 2009; (b) Exelon leasing 39 acres for the project; © the system generating enough electricity to meet the annual energy requirements of 1,200 to 1,500 homes per year; (d) the system displacing approximately 31.2 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the equivalent of taking more than 2,500 cars off the road or planting more than 3,200 acres of forest; (e) the project creating about 200 jobs; and (f) the system consisting of many U.S. made components. Such forward-looking statements are based on information available to the company as of the date of this release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, some beyond the company's control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements, including risks and uncertainties such as: (i) construction difficulties or potential delays in the project implementation process; (ii) unanticipated delays or difficulties securing necessary permits, licenses or other governmental approvals, including Exelon's receiving a federal loan guarantee under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; (iii) the risk of continuation of supply of products and components from suppliers; (iv) unanticipated problems with deploying the system on the sites; (v) actual electricity generation; (vi) the actual energy consumption rate; (vii) unexpected changes in utility service rates; (viii) variations in carbon dioxide emissions reductions; and (ix) other risks described in SunPower's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 28, 2008, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company's views as of any subsequent date, and the company is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any responsibility to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SunPower is a registered trademark of SunPower Corp. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.