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Sunpower will replace faulty connectors on C&I solar arrays

A solar array installation at the University of California-Davis. Image: Sunpower Corp.

Sunpower said it may have to spend as much as $31 million to replace faulty connectors on an unspecified number of commercial and industrial (CIS) solar arrays.

Analyst firm Roth Capital Partners estimated that as many as 1,000 sites representing around 9 MW of installed capacity could be affected.

In a statement, Sunpower said that a product quality assessment identified a cracking issue that developed over time in factory-installed connectors within third-party commercial equipment supplied to SunPower.

Sunpower said that no reported safety incidents have been linked to the issue. It said that no performance issues had been identified either. The company said it would proactively replace all of the connectors to avoid what it said could be potential longer-term complications. Replacements are expected to take place during 2022, and that based on tests it expected systems to continue to operate safely while awaiting replacement.

The announcement reiterated Sunpower’s plan to sell its CIS business to focus on its residential business. The company said it was in “advanced discussions” with an unnamed party and expected to finalize an agreement within weeks. 

The company said fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) was expected to be at the low end of its guidance range of $18 to $41 million. It said that factors affecting results included weather in California and Covid-19 impacts. It also spent an extra $3 million on business development activities in new markets.

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