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Toshiba to buy 32 megawatts of SunPower solar panels

SunPower Inc. and Toshiba Corporation have entered into an agreement that will help the Japanese electronics company unveil a new solar energy-based undertaking to begin the new decade.

As part of the strategic supply agreement between the two companies, Toshiba will order 32 megawatts worth of high-efficiency solar panels that will be manufactured by SunPower throughout 2010. The panels will be one of the main components in a new residential solar program being offered in Japan by Toshiba that will be getting underway on April 1.

“Toshiba’s residential solar power business will offer homeowners the most efficient solar power systems available, with a focus on quality and reliability,” said Shoji Takenaka, chief technology executive of Transmission Distribution & Industrial Systems Company for Toshiba. “We are very pleased to work with SunPower, as their solar photovoltaic panels achieve high levels of performance and reliability, and their excellent efficiency supports space-saving solutions that directly meet the needs of consumers in Japan.”

SunPower CEO Tom Werner added that their highly efficient solar panels will help make renewable solar energy possible in Japan due to the limited roof areas available in many domestic areas.

The deal with Toshiba comes after SunPower drastically increased its presence in the solar energy market. The San Jose-based company nearly doubled its production of high-efficiency solar panels and solar cells from 2008 to 2009 to almost 400 megawatts worth of materials.