RICHMOND, CA – During a three-state renewable energy tour, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited the SunPower solar power research and development facility with Congressman George Miller and SunPower Corporation CEO Tom Werner in Richmond, California today. Founded in 1985, SunPower Corporation employs more than 5,000 people globally and is one of the largest and fastest growing solar companies in the nation.
“The path to a clean energy economy starts here, in places like SunPower's research and development facility,” said Secretary Salazar. “The work that comes from these facilities transforms renewable energy ideas into a reality. When renewable energy companies continue to invest in places like California, the realization of a new energy future is within our reach.”
“I appreciate the Secretary visiting here,” said Congressman George Miller. “We've worked hard to make renewable energy a priority because it represents America's future economic growth. Today, businesses like SunPower are moving forward, hiring 200 people for good clean energy jobs in the East Bay. By fostering a business climate that encourages companies like SunPower, even more good jobs will be created locally, we'll reduce demand for dirty energy sources, and we'll cut customers' utility bills. That's the right direction.”
A U.S.-based company serving residential, business, public and utility customers worldwide with high efficiency solar power technology, SunPower Corporation's Richmond facility is located at the former iconic Ford Company Assembly Plant. Sitting at over 530,000 square feet and equipped with a 900 kWp rooftop solar power system, the Richmond SunPower facility is one of several U.S. offices which employ approximately 900 people including more than 300 hired in 2010. During the tour, SunPower CEO Tom Werner shared SunPower's role in the continued development of utility scale solar projects on public lands.
“SunPower's high efficiency solar power technologies generate affordable, reliable, pollution-free solar power, create thousands of jobs in the US, and improve our energy security,” said SunPower CEO Tom Werner. “We welcome Secretary Salazar to see SunPower at work, and thank the Administration for their tremendous support as we build America's clean energy future.”
As part of a three-state renewable energy tour to highlight the Department's efforts and progress to encourage a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of renewable energy on public lands, Secretary Salazar has approved 4 large-scale solar energy projects on U.S. public lands within the last two weeks. The most recent approval occurred yesterday with the signing of a Record of Decision for the Silver State North Solar Project, the first large-scale solar energy project on U.S. public lands in Nevada. Last week, Salazar approved the first three solar energy projects ever to be built on public lands. All located in southern California, the three solar projects could generate 1,124 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power up to 337,200 homes. Following his visit to California, Secretary Salazar will travel to Nevada for the last leg of his renewable energy tour.