SunPower has been focusing on emerging markets like the Middle East, North Africa and Australia.
On Tuesday, the San Jose-based solar manufacturer announced that it has taken a 42 percent stake in Australia’s Diamond Energy, a privately-owned alternative energy project developer and electricity retailer headquartered in Melbourne.
“SunPower is taking a step closer to its customers by investing in an electricity retailer like Diamond Energy,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner in a statement. “More customers will see solar as a cost-effective way to meet growing energy demands, especially as the price of conventional grid power increases in Australia….We look forward to this new venture and expect it to serve as a model for SunPower’s continuing evolution into a complete energy solutions provider.”
SunPower has had a presence in Australia since 2008, with a utility-scale Uterne solar power plant in Alice Springs and commercial projects at the Perth Zoo and Central Institute of Technology.
SunPower is majority owned by French oil company Total and designs and manufactures high-efficiency solar cells and solar panels for residential, commercial and utility clients. The company is building the 250-megawatt California Valley Solar Ranch in eastern San Luis Obispo County, slated to become operational in 2013.