Our Company's History

SunPower has been developing record-breaking solar technology since the 1970s. Our history over these decades has been marked by creativity, craftsmanship, and confidence. 



SunPower secures $1 billion in residential solar + storage financing through partnership with Technology Credit Union. SunPower also secures dedicated commercial solar financing through Bank of the West. SunPower is ranked the number one Commercial direct solar solutions provider in the U.S. for capacity for the third consecutive year. SunPower launches new OneRoof™ system, an efficient, durable and cost-effective solar roofing product that is ideal for the new-home market, with KB Home offering the product first. SunPower completes Maxeon Solar Technologies spin-off, establishing two complementary, independent, publicly traded companies.

2010 - 2019

2010 - 2019

This decade was filled with many accomplishments and milestones for SunPower. The company became publicly listed on the NASDAQ with CEO Tom Werner taking the company to new levels. SunPower set new world records in solar cell efficiency.


SunPower's new Oregon facility begins assembly of Performance Series (P-Series) solar panels. SunPower introduces the industry's first 400-plus-watt home solar panels, called A-Series, delivering 400 and 415 watts of power. A-series panels are the highest-powered solar panels available for the residential market. SunPower partners with Sierra Club with a new residential solar program. SunPower Design Studio launches, enabling millions of future homeowners to create custom solar designs instantly, improving the customer experience. SunPower launches SunVault™ Solar Storage (formerly known and Equinox™) for residential customers at SPI. SunPower announces plans to separate into two, independent, industry-leading, publicly traded companies.


SunPower completes 10-megawatt solar and 1-megawatt storage project at U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, expected to help reduce Army's peak power demand charges while increasing energy security. The 4.4-megawatt solar system from SunPower, comprised of carport, roof and ground-mount arrays, goes live at Campbell's World Headquarters in Camden, N.J. SunPower acquires SolarWorld Americas' assets in Hillsboro, Oregon, investing in American solar manufacturing and converting the facility to P-Series technology. Enphase Energy acquires SunPower's microinverter business.


SunPower begins offering 22% efficient X-Series panels in Australia for residential customers. SunPower introduces EDDiE®, a next-generation digital sales application and design engine for home solar, removing the complexity of buying and selling solar with a dynamic way to customize solar systems. ISE Group, Total and SunPower start up a 27-megawatt-peak photovoltaic power plant in Nanao on Japan's Honshu Island, just one year after beginning construction. SunPower celebrates installing solar at its 1,000th new home community. SunPower solar carport solutions are recognized as one of BuildingGreen's top 10 recommended products for 2018.


SunPower reinvents home solar, introducing the SunPower Equinox® system, the first residential solar solution in the nation where every major component has been designed and engineered by one company to work seamlessly together. All SunPower® E-Series and X-Series solar panels produced meet Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Silver standards, demonstrating continued industry leadership in sustainability and social responsibility. Macy's and SunPower celebrate 10 years of partnership, resulting in installations totaling 39 megawatts. SunPower breaks its own efficiency record set earlier in the year, reaching 24.1% efficiency for its X-Series solar panel, as validated by NREL. Solar Impulse 2 completes its round-the-world flight, powered by SunPower® Maxeon® cells.


First Solar and SunPower announce public filing of registration statement for proposed initial public offering of a YieldCo. SunPower celebrates its 30th anniversary.


SunPower achieves production milestone, manufacturing its one-billionth solar cell. SunPower solar panels awarded Cradle to Cradle Certification for sustainable manufacturing processes. The first and only solar company to achieve this recognition. SunPower acquires SolarBridge Technologies, Inc., for high performance microinverter technology that offers system design flexibility and lower cost of installation. SunPower invests in integrated technology solutions to help customers manage their cost of energy, reinforcing the company's evolution to offering Smart Energy solutions for its residential, commercial and utility customers.


Solar Impulse, the solar-powered airplane powered by SunPower solar cells, successfully flies across America. SunPower and U.S. Bancorp team up to offer "Zero-Down" financing and direct-from-manufacturer performance guarantee. SunPower announces acquisition of Greenbotics, Inc. to offer robotic solar panel cleaning products and services for large-scale solar power plants.


Total SA and SunPower partner to create a new global leader in the solar industry. SunPower® Maxeon™ solar cell technology powers Solar Impulse, a prototype solar airplane, that for the first time in aviation history succeeds in flying for 26 consecutive hours powered only by solar energy. SunPower launches the C7 Tracker which concentrates the sun's power seven times to achieve the lowest levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar power plants.

2000 - 2009

2000 - 2009

This decade was filled with many accomplishments and milestones for SunPower. The company became publicly listed on the NASDAQ with CEO Tom Werner taking the company to new levels. SunPower set new world records in solar cell efficiency.


President Obama dedicates a 25 MW SunPower solar power plant system at Florida Power & Light's Desoto installation. PlanetSolar chooses SunPower high-efficiency solar cells to power the world's largest solar catamaran.


SunPower announces a world-record monocrystalline silicon prototype solar cell with efficiency of 23.4%.


SunPower begins volume production of its record breaking high efficiency solar cell, averaging 22.4% conversion efficiency. SunPower acquires PowerLight, resulting in a vertically integrated company serving the residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant markets. A second manufacturing facility (Fab 2) with 330 MW capacity rating on 10 lines, comes online in the Philippines.


A successful Initial Public Offering fuels new growth and a solidified position in the solar market.


Our first manufacturing facility (Fab 1) comes online in the Philippines and the company's first utility-scale power plant comes online in Bavaria.


SunPower recruits Tom Werner as CEO, to take the company to the next level.


Cypress Semiconductor board invest $8 million in SunPower.


Our world-record efficiency A-300 solar cells power NASA's Helios project, achieving a record altitude of 96,863 feet.

1990 - 1999

1990 - 1999

In the 1990s, SunPower received initial funding from Associate Venture Investors and Technology Funding and an R&D contract from EPRI and US DOE. SunPower solar technology was used to power some of the most innovative applications for solar power race cars and airplanes.


SunPower high efficiency solar cells power NASA's Pathfinder, an unmanned, remotely piloted, solar-power, high altitude aircraft.


SunPower all-back contact, high efficiency solar cells power a Honda car to victory in a car race across Australia, beating second place winner by one full day.


SunPower receives initial funding from Associate Venture Investors and an R&D contract from EPRI and the U.S. Department of Energy.

1980 - 1989

1980 - 1989

By 1985, Dr. Swanson (who by then was a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford) had been awarded grants from the Electric Power Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy to support his solar power explorations. With the help of these funds – as well as financial support from two venture capital firms – SunPower was officially incorporated in April 1985.

1970 - 1979

1970 - 1979

Our record of solar innovation began nearly four decades ago, when our co-founder, Dr. Richard Swanson, was pondering ways to deal with the oil crisis. At that time, solar cells were being used on satellites, a concept he found intriguing. His engineering challenge was to figure out how to make the cells more cost-effective. So he began a quest that, almost 40 years later, has helped position SunPower as a leader in residential, commercial and utility-scale solar power production.