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SunPower Launches Remote Operations For Large-Scale Solar

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SunPower has announced the launch of a remote operations control center for monitoring and controlling large-scale solar power plants.

The remote operations control center (ROCC) is designed to monitor and control large-scale solar power plants that SunPower is currently operating throughout the United States (including those projects owned by its joint-yieldco company, 8point3 Energy Partners), as well as monitor solar power plants SunPower has constructed throughout Latin America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia.

“SunPower’s remote operations control center is designed to optimize energy production at our solar power plants, allowing utilities and power plant owners to better manage their energy,” said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO and president. “Increasingly, utilities are adding solar to their energy mix to provide their customers with reliable, cost-effective and emission-free energy.”

The ROCC is staffed by eight employees who, by 2016, will be monitoring and controlling approximately 1.3 GW of solar power plants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

“As an energy services provider, our ROCC enables SunPower to be a good manager of the utility grid, and enhance safety at our power plant sites,” Werner added. “It is scalable to accommodate the anticipated continued growth of our global power plant fleet.”

The launch of the ROCC will be an interesting move for SunPower, and will be intriguing to see how it impacts the company’s bottom line. In the second quarter, SunPower reported lackluster revenue of $381 million, down slightly on the first quarter and down significantly year-over-year, which saw the company provide measured full-year guidance for the first time in 2015 — GAAP revenue for the full year 2015 to reach between $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion, with a gross margin of 10% to 12%, and a net loss per diluted share of $2.35 to $2.05.

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