10-K 1 spwr_12282014x10-k.htm 10-K SPWR_12.28.2014_10-K
 
 
 
 
 
 

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-K
 
T
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 28, 2014
OR
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from ______________ to ______________

Commission file number 001-34166


SunPower Corporation
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
Delaware
 
94-3008969
(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
77 Rio Robles, San Jose, California 95134
(Address of Principal Executive Offices and Zip Code)
(408) 240-5500
(Registrant's Telephone Number, Including Area Code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock $0.001 par value
Nasdaq Global Select Market
d
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:


None
(Title of Class)

_________________________________________
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes  T    No  o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 of Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes  o    No  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Sections 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes  T    No  o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes  T    No  o

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  T

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer x
Accelerated filer o
Non-accelerated filer o
Smaller reporting company o
 
 
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).  Yes  o    No  T

The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on June 29, 2014 was $2,123 million. Such aggregate market value was computed by reference to the closing price of the common stock as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on June 27, 2014. For purposes of determining this amount only, the registrant has defined affiliates as including Total Energies Nouvelles Activités USA, formerly known as Total Gas & Power USA, SAS and the executive officers and directors of registrant on June 27, 2014.

The total number of outstanding shares of the registrant’s common stock as of February 17, 2015 was 131,480,382.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE


Parts of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the registrant’s 2015 annual meeting of stockholders are incorporated by reference in Items 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 of Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 
 
 
 
 
d


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
Page
Part I.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Part II.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Trademarks

The following terms, among others, are our trademarks and may be used in this report: SunPower®, Maxeon®, Oasis®, PowerLight®, Tenesol®, Greenbotics®, Customer Cost of Energy™ ("CCOE™"), and SunPower Spectrum™. Other trademarks appearing in this report are the property of their respective owners.

Unit of Power

When referring to our solar power systems, our facilities’ manufacturing capacity, and total sales, the unit of electricity in watts for kilowatts ("KW"), megawatts ("MW"), and gigawatts ("GW") is direct current ("dc").

Levelized Cost of Energy ("LCOE")

LCOE is an evaluation of the life-cycle energy cost and life-cycle energy production of an energy producing system. It allows alternative technologies to be compared different scales of operation, investment or operating time periods. It captures capital costs and ongoing system-related costs, along with the amount of electricity produced, and converts them into a common metric. Key drivers for LCOE reduction for photovoltaic products include panel efficiency, capacity factors, reliable system performance, and the life of the system.

Customer Cost of Energy("CCOE")

Our customers are focused on reducing their overall cost of energy by intelligently integrating solar and other distributed generation, energy efficiency, energy management, and energy storage systems with their existing utility-provided energy. CCOE™ is an evaluation of a customer’s overall cost of energy, taking into account the cost impact of each individual generation source (including the utility), energy storage systems, and energy management systems.  CCOE includes capital costs and ongoing operating costs, along with the amount of electricity produced, stored, saved, or re-sold, and converts all of these variables into a common metric. The CCOE metric allows a customer to compare different portfolios of generation sources, energy storage, and energy management, and to tailor towards optimization.  

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that do not represent historical facts and the assumptions underlying such statements. We use words such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "potential," "will," "would," "should," and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include, but are not limited to, our plans and expectations regarding future financial results, expected operating results, business strategies, projected costs and cost reduction, development of new products and improvements to our existing products, our manufacturing capacity and manufacturing costs, the adequacy of our agreements with our suppliers, our ability to monetize utility projects, competitive positions, management's plans and objectives for future operations, the sufficiency of our cash and our liquidity, our ability to obtain financing, our ability to comply with debt covenants or cure any defaults, trends in average selling prices, the success of our joint ventures and acquisitions, expected capital expenditures, warranty matters, outcomes of litigation, our exposure to foreign exchange, interest and credit risk, general business and economic conditions in our markets, industry trends, the impact of changes in government incentives, expected restructuring charges, and the likelihood of any impairment of project assets and long-lived assets. These forward-looking statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and current expectations, forecasts and assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond our control. Please see "Item 1A. Risk Factors" herein and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") for additional information on risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date, and we are under no obligation to, and expressly disclaim any responsibility to, update or alter our forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

The following information should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Our fiscal year ends on the Sunday closest to the end of the applicable calendar year. All references to fiscal periods apply to our fiscal quarter or year, which end on the Sunday closest to the calendar month end.

Recent Developments

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On February 23, 2015, we announced that we were in advanced negotiations with First Solar, Inc. ("First Solar") to form a joint YieldCo vehicle (the "YieldCo") into which we and First Solar each expect to contribute a portfolio of selected solar generation assets. Upon execution of a master formation agreement, we and First Solar intend to file a registration statement with the SEC for an initial public offering of limited partner interests in the YieldCo (the "YieldCo IPO"). Completion of the YieldCo IPO is subject to successful conclusion of negotiations with First Solar, each party's board approval, regulatory approval and market conditions. There is no assurance that the YieldCo IPO will occur on favorable terms or at all. See "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—We may be unable to successfully form the previously announced YieldCo vehicle; the proposed initial public offering of the YieldCo vehicle may not occur on favorable terms or at all; and even if the proposed initial public offering is completed, we may not achieve the expected benefits." In light of the uncertainty regarding the formation of the proposed YieldCo and the YieldCo IPO, the assumptions and forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K do not take into account the consummation of the proposed YieldCo or IPO transactions.

PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Corporate History

SunPower has been a leader in the solar industry for 30 years, originally incorporated in California in 1985 and reincorporated in Delaware during 2004 in connection with our initial public offering. In November 2011, our stockholders approved the reclassification of all outstanding former class A common stock and class B common stock into a single class of common stock listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "SPWR." In fiscal 2011, we became a majority owned subsidiary of Total Energies Nouvelles Activités USA, formerly known as Total Gas & Power USA, SAS ("Total"), a subsidiary of Total S.A. ("Total S.A.").

Company Overview

We are a leading global energy company dedicated to changing the way our world is powered. We believe our solar module technology is unmatched in long-term reliability, efficiency and performance. Through design, manufacturing, installation, ongoing maintenance and monitoring and adjacent services to reduce CCOE, we provide our proprietary, high-performance solar technology to residential, commercial and utility customers worldwide. With industry-leading conversion efficiencies, we continuously improve our Maxeon solar cells and believe they perform better and are tested more extensively to deliver maximum return on investment when compared with the products of our competitors. We believe there are several factors that distinguish us from our competitors:

A go-to-market approach that is broad and deep, reflecting our long-standing experience in rooftop and ground mount channels, including turn-key systems:

Cutting-edge systems designed to meet customer needs and reduce cost, including non-penetrating, fast roof installation technologies;

Expanded reach enhanced by Total S.A.'s long-standing presence in many countries where significant solar installation goals are being established; and

End-to-end solutions management capabilities, including operations and maintenance of some of the world's largest solar power systems and adjacent services to reduce CCOE.

A technological advantage, as the leading manufacturer of back-contact, back-junction cells, enabling our panels to produce more electricity, last longer and resist degradation more effectively:

Superior performance, including the ability to generate up to 50% more power per unit area than conventional solar cells;

Superior aesthetics, with our uniformly black surface design that eliminates highly visible reflective grid lines and metal interconnection ribbons;

Superior reliability, as confirmed by multiple independent reports and internal reliability data;

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Superior energy production per rated watt of power, as confirmed by multiple independent reports;

The ability to transport more KW per pound using less packaging, lowering distribution costs and reducing environmental waste; and

More efficient use of silicon, a key raw material used in the manufacture of solar cells.

Costs to our customers that are steadily decreasing as a result of an aggressive, but we believe achievable, cost reduction roadmap as well as value that benefits all customers:

We offer a significantly lower area-related cost structure for our customers because our solar panels require a substantially smaller roof or land area than conventional solar technology and half or less of the roof or land area of many commercial solar thin film technologies;

Our financing programs are designed to offer customers a variety of options for purchasing or leasing high efficiency solar products at competitive energy rates and in some cases, for no money down, and enhance our ability to provide individually-tailored solar solutions to a broad range of customers; and

Our solar power systems are designed to generate electricity over a system life typically exceeding 25 years.

Our Products and Services

Solar Power Components

We sell our solar power components, including panels, balance of system components, and inverters to dealers, systems integrators, distributors, and directly to residential, commercial, and utility customers worldwide.

Panels

Solar panels are solar cells electrically connected together and encapsulated in a weatherproof panel. Solar cells are semiconductor devices that convert sunlight into direct current electricity. Our solar cells are designed without highly reflective metal contact grids or current collection ribbons on the front of the solar cell, which provides additional efficiency and allows our solar cells to be assembled into solar panels with a more uniform appearance. In fiscal 2013, we commercially launched our X-Series solar panels, made with our Maxeon Gen 3 solar cells, which have demonstrated average panel efficiencies exceeding 21.5%. We believe our X-Series solar panels are the highest efficiency solar panels available for the mass market, and we continue to focus on increasing cell efficiency, producing our first solar cells with over 25% efficiency in a lab setting during fiscal 2014. Because our solar cells are more efficient relative to conventional solar cells, when our solar cells are assembled into panels, the assembly cost per watt is less because more power can be incorporated into a given size panel. Higher solar panel efficiency allows installers to mount a solar power system with more power within a given roof or site area and can reduce per watt installation costs. Our suite of SunPower solar panels provides customers a variety of features to fit their needs, including the SunPower Signature Black design which allows the panels to blend seamlessly into the rooftop. We offer panels that can be used both with inverters that require transformers as well as with the highest performing transformer-less inverters to maximize output. Both our X-Series and E-Series panels have proven performance with low levels of degradation, as validated by third-party performance tests.

Balance of System Components

"Balance of system components" are components of a solar power system other than the solar panels, and include mounting structures, charge controllers, grid interconnection equipment, and other devices, depending on the specific requirements of a particular system and project. In fiscal 2014, we added advanced module-level control electronics to our technology portfolio that enable longer series strings and significant balance of system components cost reductions in large arrays.

Inverters

Every solar power system needs an inverter to transform the direct current electricity collected from the solar panels into utility-grade alternating current ("ac") power that is ready for use. We sell inverters manufactured by third parties, some of which are SunPower-branded. In fiscal 2014, we acquired SolarBridge Technologies, Inc. ("SolarBridge Technologies"), a

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leader in integrated microinverter technologies for the solar industry. We are utilizing this technology, which converts dc generated by a single solar photovoltaic panel into ac directly on the panel, to develop next generation microinverters for use with our high efficiency solar panels. Panels with these factory-integrated microinverters perform better in shaded applications compared to conventional string inverters and allow for optimization and monitoring at the solar panel level, enabling maximum energy production by the solar system.

Solar Power Systems

We offer several types of rooftop- and ground-mounted solar systems that integrate a variety of our solar power products and solutions.

Residential Systems

In fiscal 2014 we developed complete residential solutions that deliver value to homeowners and our dealer partners. Our acquisition of SolarBridge Technologies gave us the capability to deliver ac panels with factory-integrated microinverters. Ac system architecture, as compared with dc systems, facilitates direct panel installation, eliminating the need to mount or assemble additional components on the roof or the side of a building, driving down systems costs, improving overall system reliability, and providing improved, cleaner design aesthetics.

We introduced and started installing our first residential mounting system, SunPower InvisiMount, in fiscal 2014. InvisiMount is designed specifically for use with our panels and reduces installation time through pre-assembled parts and integrated grounding. InvisiMount is well-suited for residential sloped roof applications and provides design flexibility and enhanced aesthetics by delivering a unique, "floating" appearance.

We are supporting our hardware development with investments in our proprietary set of advanced monitoring applications (the "SunPower Monitoring System") and our customer portal, which enable customers to gain visibility into their solar system production and household energy consumption. This software is available for use on the web or through the SunPower mobile application on smartphones and tablets. In fiscal 2014, we issued five software upgrades to our Customer Portal offering and, as a result, have experienced increases in customer traffic, engagement, and satisfaction.

Commercial Roof and Ground Mounted Systems

We offer a variety of commercial solutions designed to address a wide range of site requirements for commercial rooftop, parking lot and open space applications. Our commercial rooftop offering includes an all-in-one, non-penetrating system that combines solar panel, frame, and mounting system into one pre-engineered unit design for flat roof application. We also offer a portfolio of solutions utilizing framed panels and a variety of internally or externally developed mounting methods for flat roof and high tilt roof applications. Our commercial flat rooftop systems are designed to be lightweight and interlock, enhancing wind resistance and providing for secure, rapid installations.

We offer parking lot structures designed specifically for SunPower panels, balance of system components, and inverters. These systems are typically custom design-build projects that utilize standard templates and design best practices to create a solution tailored to unique site conditions. SunPower's highest efficiency panels are especially well suited to stand-alone structures, such as those found in parking lot applications, because our systems require less steel and other materials per unit of power or energy produced as compared with our competitors.

Utility and Power Plant Systems

We offer the industry's first modular solar power block ("SunPower Oasis" or "Oasis"), which combines SunPower solar panels and tracker technology into a scalable 1.5 MW solar power block, which streamlines the construction process while optimizing the use of available land by conforming to the contours of the production site. The power block kits are shipped pre-assembled to the job site for rapid field installation. The Oasis operating system is designed to support future grid interconnection requirements for large-scale solar power plants, such as voltage ride-through and power factor control. More than 1.5 GW of Oasis is installed or under contract worldwide. Oasis is currently being deployed at the 748 MW Solar Star Projects in California, formerly known as Antelope Valley Solar Projects, the world's largest solar power project under construction to date. In fiscal 2013, we acquired Greenbotics, Inc., the developer of a robotic solar power plant cleaning system. We are currently deploying this technology on many of the utility-scale solar power systems for which we provide operations and maintenance services. The robots may be configured for use with a variety of solar panels and mounting types, including fixed-tilt arrays and single access trackers and significantly reduce water use and improve system performance.


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Our single axis tracking systems automatically pivot solar panels to track the sun's movement throughout the day. This tracking feature increases the amount of sunlight that is captured and converted into energy by up to 30% over flat or fixed-tilt systems, depending on geographic location and local climate conditions. A single motor and drive mechanism can control 10 to 20 rows, or more than 200 KW, of solar panels. This multi-row feature represents a cost advantage for our customers over dual axis tracking systems, as such systems require more motors, drives, land, and power to operate per KW of capacity.

Our solar concentrator ("SunPower C7 Tracker" or "C7") combines a horizontal single-axis tracker with rows of parabolic mirrors, reflecting light onto linear arrays of our high efficiency solar cells. The SunPower cell is uniquely suited for this application due to its extremely high efficiency under low levels of concentration. Similar to Oasis, SunPower C7 Tracker's components come factory preassembled, enabling rapid installation using standard tools and requiring no specialized field expertise.

Utility-Scale Solar Power System Construction and Development

Our global project teams have established a scalable, fully integrated, vertical approach to constructing and developing utility-scale photovoltaic power plants in a sustainable way. Our industry experienced power plant development and project finance teams evaluate sites for solar developments; obtain land rights through purchase and lease options; conduct environmental and grid transmission studies; and obtain building, construction and grid-interconnection permits, licenses, and regulatory approvals.

We enter into turnkey engineering, procurement and construction ("EPC") agreements with customers under which we design, engineer, construct, commission, and deliver functioning rooftop- and ground-mounted solar power systems. This includes the development, execution, and sale of solar power plants, which generally include the sale or lease of related real estate. Under such development projects, the plants and project development rights, initially owned by us, are later sold to third parties. In the United States, commercial and electric utility customers typically choose to purchase solar electricity under a power purchase agreement ("PPA") with an investor or financing company that buys the system from us. In other areas, such as the Middle East, Africa, and South America, projects are typically purchased by an investor or financing company and operated as central-station solar power plants.

Solutions and Services

Operations and Maintenance

Our solar power systems are designed to generate electricity over a system life typically exceeding 25 years. We offer operations and maintenance services, including remote monitoring services, preventative and corrective maintenance, as well as rapid-response outage restoration and inverter repair, with the objective of optimizing our customers' electrical energy production over the life of the system. We generally provide a warranty for the performance of the solar panels that we manufacture at certain levels of power output for 25 years. We pass through long-term warranties from the original equipment manufacturers of certain system components to customers for periods ranging from five to 20 years. In addition, we generally warrant our workmanship on installed systems for periods ranging up to 25 years.

We incorporate leading information technology platforms to facilitate the management of our solar power systems operating worldwide. Real-time flow of data from our customers' sites is aggregated centrally where an engine applies advanced solar specific algorithms to detect and report potential performance issues. Our work management system routes any anomalies to the appropriate responders to ensure timely resolution. Our performance model, PVSim, was developed over the last 20 years and has been audited by independent engineers. Solar panel performance coefficients are established through independent third-party testing. When combined with our ability to monitor a system's production and meteorological conditions, SunPower is able to offer our customers system output performance warranties.

The SunPower Monitoring System provides customers real-time performance status of their solar power system, with access to historical or daily system performance data through our customer website (www.sunpowermonitor.com). The SunPower Monitoring System is available through applications on Apple® and Android devices. Some customers choose to install "digital signs" or kiosks to display system performance information from the lobby of their facility. We believe these displays enhance our brand and educate the public and prospective customers about solar power.

In fiscal 2014 we launched SunPower Spectrum, our comprehensive software solution for our indirect and direct sales channels that automates the sale, design, and proposal optimization of residential solar systems as well as the project management, installation, and ongoing operations and maintenance of those same systems. SunPower Spectrum enables our channel partners to deliver a premium customer experience that matches the technology underpinnings of SunPower panels.

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Smart Energy

We see “Smart Energy” as a way to harness our world’s energy potential by connecting the most powerful and reliable solar systems on the market with an increasingly vast array of actionable data that can help our customers make smarter decisions about their energy use. Our Smart Energy initiative is designed to add layers of intelligent control to homes, buildings and grids—all personalized through easy-to-use customer interfaces. In order to enhance the portfolio of Smart Energy solutions we offer, throughout fiscal 2014 we invested in integrated technology solutions to help customers manage and optimize their CCOE.

In fiscal 2014, we invested in Tendril Networks, Inc. ("Tendril") and licensed its data-driven Energy Services Management ("ESM") Platform. We believe that this open, cloud-based software platform provides the infrastructure, analytics and understanding required to power the development of new Smart Energy applications that will deliver personalized energy services to our residential customers.

In fiscal 2014, we also announced an exclusive agreement with Sunverge Energy, Inc. ("Sunverge") to offer their advanced Solar Integration System ("SIS") energy storage solution to certain customers in the United States and Australia. The Sunverge SIS is a distributed energy storage solution comprising batteries, power electronics, and multiple energy inputs controlled by cloud-based software. Sunverge SIS energy storage solutions are designed to lower costs, ensure energy reliability, help strengthen the grid, and accelerate the integration of renewable energies. We expect to make combined solar and storage solutions broadly commercially available in 2015.

We are developing next generation microinverters for use with our high efficiency solar panels in order to enhance our portfolio of Smart Energy solutions. Panels with these factory-integrated microinverters can convert direct current generated by the solar panel into alternating current, enabling optimization and monitoring at the solar panel level to ensure maximum energy production by the solar system.

Residential Leasing Program

Our residential lease program, in partnership with third-party investors, provides U.S. customers SunPower systems under 20-year lease agreements that include system maintenance and warranty coverage. SunPower residential lease customers have the option to purchase their leased solar systems upon the sale or transfer of their home.

Research and Development

We engage in extensive research and development efforts to improve solar cell efficiency through enhancement of our existing products, development of new techniques such as concentrating photovoltaic power, and reducing manufacturing cost and complexity. Our research and development group works closely with our manufacturing facilities, our equipment suppliers and our customers to improve our solar cell design and to lower solar cell, solar panel and system product manufacturing and assembly costs. In addition, we have dedicated employees who work closely with our current and potential suppliers of crystalline silicon, a key raw material used in the manufacture of our solar cells, to develop specifications that meet our standards and ensure the high quality we require, while at the same time controlling costs. Under our Research & Collaboration Agreement with Total, our majority stockholder, we have established a joint committee to engage in long-term research and development projects with continued focus on maintaining and expanding our technology position in the crystalline silicon domain and ensuring our competitiveness.

Supplier Relationships, Manufacturing, and Panel Assembly

We purchase polysilicon, ingots, wafers, solar cells, balance of system components, and inverters from various manufacturers, including our joint venture AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd. ("AUOSP"), on both a contracted and a purchase order basis. We have contracted with some of our suppliers for multi-year supply agreements. Under such agreements, we have annual minimum purchase obligations and in certain cases prepayment obligations. We have certain purchase obligations under our material supply agreement with our joint venture AUOSP, which is a supplier of our cells. This material supply contract has a remaining term of three years and does not contain prepayment obligations. Please see "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources—Contractual Obligations" for further information regarding the amount of our purchase obligations in fiscal 2015 and beyond. Under other supply agreements, we are required to make prepayments to vendors over the terms of the arrangements. As of December 28, 2014, advances to suppliers totaled $409.7 million. We may be unable to recover such prepayments if the credit conditions of these suppliers materially deteriorate. For further information regarding our future prepayment obligations, please see "Item 8.

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Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Note 9. Commitments and Contingencies—Advances to Suppliers." We currently believe our supplier relationships and various short- and long-term contracts will afford us the volume of material and services required to meet our planned output. For more information about risks related to our supply chain, please see "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Supply Chain."

We are working with our suppliers and partners along all steps of the value chain to reduce costs by improving manufacturing technologies and expanding economies of scale. Crystalline silicon is the principal commercial material for solar cells and is used in several forms, including single-crystalline, or monocrystalline silicon, multicrystalline, or polycrystalline silicon, ribbon and sheet silicon, and thin-layer silicon. Our solar cell value chain starts with high purity silicon called polysilicon. Polysilicon is created by refining quartz or sand.
 
Polysilicon is melted and grown into crystalline ingots and sawed into wafers by business partners specializing in those processes. The wafers are processed into solar cells in our manufacturing facility located in the Philippines and by our joint venture, AUOSP, located in Malaysia. The solar cell manufacturing facility we own and operate in the Philippines has a total rated annual capacity of over 700 MW. AUOSP currently operates a solar cell manufacturing facility with a total rated annual capacity of over 800 MW. We also own a 215,000 square foot building in the Philippines that we are building out as an additional solar cell manufacturing facility with a planned annual capacity of 350 MW once fully operational, which is expected to occur in fiscal 2016, with initial production expected during fiscal 2015.

We use our solar cells to manufacture our solar panels at our solar panel assembly facilities located in the Philippines, Mexico and France. Our solar panel manufacturing facilities have a combined total rated annual capacity of close to 1.7 GW. Our solar panels are also assembled for us by third-party contract manufacturers in California and China.

We source the solar panels and balance of system components based on quality, performance, and cost considerations both internally and from third-party suppliers. We generally assemble proprietary components while we purchase generally available components from third-party suppliers. The balance of system components, along with the EPC cost to construct the project, can comprise as much as two-thirds of the cost of a solar power system. Therefore, we focus on standardizing our products with the goal of driving down installation costs, such as with our SunPower Oasis system.

Customers

We sell our products through our three regional segments: (i) the Americas Segment, (ii) the EMEA Segment, and (iii) the APAC Segment. Our scope and scale allow us to deliver solar solutions across all segments, ranging from consumer homeowners to the largest commercial and governmental entities in the world. Our customers typically include investors, financial institutions, project developers, electric utilities, independent power producers, commercial and governmental entities, production home builders, residential owners and small commercial building owners. We leverage a combination of direct sales as well as a broad partner ecosystem to efficiently reach our global segments.

We work with development, construction, system integration, and financing companies to deliver our solar power products and solutions to wholesale sellers, retail sellers, and retail users of electricity. In the United States, commercial and electric utility customers typically choose to purchase solar electricity under a PPA with an investor or financing company that buys the system from us. End-user customers typically pay the investors and financing companies over an extended period of time based on energy they consume from the solar power systems, rather than paying for the full capital cost of purchasing the solar power systems. Our utility-scale solar power systems are typically purchased by an investor or financing company and operated as central-station solar power plants. In addition, our third-party global dealer network and our new homes division have deployed thousands of SunPower rooftop solar power systems to residential customers.

Competition

The market for solar electric power technologies is competitive and continually evolving. We expect to face increased competition, which may result in price reductions, reduced margins, or loss of market share. Our solar power products and systems compete with many competitors in the solar power market, including, but not limited to:

Residential and Commercial: Canadian Solar Inc., Hanwha Corporation, JA Solar Holdings Co., Kyocera Corporation, LG Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, NRG Energy, Inc., Panasonic Corporation, Recurrent Energy, Sharp Corporation, SolarCity Corporation, SolarWorld AG, SunEdison Inc., Sungevity, Inc., SunRun, Inc., Trina Solar Ltd., Vivint, Inc., and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd.


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Utility and Power Plant: Abengoa Solar S.A., Acconia Energia S.A., AES Solar Energy Ltd., Chevron Energy Solutions (a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation), EDF Energy plc, First Solar Inc., NextEra Energy, Inc., NRG Energy, Inc., Sempra Energy, Silverado Power LLC., Skyline Solar, Inc., Solargen Energy, Inc., Solaria Corporation, SunEdison, and Tenaska, Inc.

We also face competition from resellers that have developed related offerings that compete with our product and service offerings, or have entered into strategic relationships with other existing solar power system providers. We compete for limited government funding for research and development contracts, customer tax rebates and other programs that promote the use of solar, and other renewable forms of energy with other renewable energy providers and customers.

In addition, universities, research institutions, and other companies have brought to market alternative technologies, such as thin films, which compete with our technology in certain applications. Furthermore, the solar power market in general competes with conventional fossil fuels supplied by utilities and other sources of renewable energy such as wind, hydro, biomass, solar thermal, and emerging distributed generation technologies such as micro-turbines, sterling engines and fuel cells.

In the large-scale on-grid solar power systems market, we face direct competition from a number of companies, including those that manufacture, distribute, or install solar power systems as well as construction companies that have expanded into the renewable sector. In addition, we will occasionally compete with distributed generation equipment suppliers.

We believe that the key competitive factors in the market for solar systems include:

total system price;

LCOE evaluation;

CCOE evaluation;

power efficiency and performance;

aesthetic appearance of solar panels;

strength of distribution relationships;

availability of third-party financing and investments;

timeliness of new product introductions;

bankability, strength, and reputation of our company; and

warranty protection, quality, and customer service.

We believe that we can compete favorably with respect to each of these elements, although we may be at a disadvantage in comparison to larger companies with broader product lines, greater technical service and support capabilities, and financial resources. For more information on risks related to our competition, please see the risk factors set forth under the caption "Item 1A. Risk Factors" including "Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—The increase in the global supply of solar cells and panels, and increasing competition, may cause substantial downward pressure on the prices of such products and cause us to lose sales or market share, resulting in lower revenues, earnings, and cash flows."

Intellectual Property

We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trade secret, trademark, and contractual protections to establish and protect our proprietary rights. "SunPower" and the "SunPower" logo are our registered trademarks in countries throughout the world for use with solar cells, solar panels and mounting systems. We also hold registered trademarks for, among others, "Maxeon", "Oasis", "InvisiMount", "Serengeti", "Smarter Solar", "Smart Energy", "SunTile", "SunPower Electric", "SuPo Solar", "Tenesol", "Greenbotics", "More Energy. For Life.", "The Planet's Most Powerful Solar", "The World's Standard for Solar", and "Use More Sun" in certain countries. We are seeking and will continue to seek registration of the "SunPower" trademark and other trademarks in additional countries as we believe is appropriate. As of December 28, 2014, we held registrations for 27 trademarks in the United States, and had 8 trademark registration applications pending. We also held 141 trademark registrations and had over 24 trademark applications pending in foreign jurisdictions. We require our business

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partners to enter into confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements before we disclose any sensitive aspects of our solar cells, technology, or business plans. We typically enter into proprietary information agreements with employees, consultants, vendors, customers, and joint venture partners.

We own multiple patents and patent applications that cover aspects of the technology in the solar cells, mounting products, and electrical and electronic systems that we currently manufacture and market. We continue to file for and receive new patent rights on a regular basis. The lifetime of a utility patent typically extends for 20 years from the date of filing with the relevant government authority. We assess appropriate opportunities for patent protection of those aspects of our technology, designs, methodologies, and processes that we believe provide significant competitive advantages to us, and for licensing opportunities of new technologies relevant to our business. As of December 28, 2014, we held 255 patents in the United States, which will expire at various times through 2033, and had 262 U.S. patent applications pending. We also held 206 patents and had 641 patent applications pending in foreign jurisdictions. While patents are an important element of our intellectual property strategy, our business as a whole is not dependent on any one patent or any single pending patent application. We additionally rely on trade secret rights to protect our proprietary information and know-how. We employ proprietary processes and customized equipment in our manufacturing facilities. We therefore require employees and consultants to enter into confidentiality agreements to protect them.

When appropriate, we enforce our IP rights against other parties. At present, we are in litigation in Germany against Knubix GmbH related to alleged violations of our patent rights. We are also currently in litigation in the District of Delaware against PanelClaw Inc. related to alleged violations of our patent rights.

For more information about risks related to our intellectual property, please see the risk factors set forth under the caption "Item 1A. Risk Factors" including "Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property—We depend on our intellectual property, and we may face intellectual property infringement claims that could be time-consuming and costly to defend and could result in the loss of significant rights," "Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property—We rely substantially upon trade secret laws and contractual restrictions to protect our proprietary rights, and, if these rights are not sufficiently protected, our ability to compete and generate revenue could suffer," and "Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property—We may not obtain sufficient patent protection on the technology embodied in the solar products we currently manufacture and market, which could harm our competitive position and increase our expenses."

Backlog

We believe that backlog is not a meaningful indicator of future business prospects.  In the residential and commercial markets we often sell large volumes of solar panel, mounting systems, and other solar equipment to third parties, which are typically ordered by our third-party global dealer network and customers under standard purchase orders with relatively short delivery lead-times.  We often require project financing for development and construction of our solar power plant projects, which require significant investments before the equity is later sold to investors.  Our solar power system project backlog would therefore exclude sales contracts signed and completed in the same quarter and contracts still conditioned upon obtaining financing.  Based on these reasons, we believe backlog at any particular date is not necessarily a meaningful indicator of future revenue for any particular period of time.

Regulations

Public Policy Considerations

Different policy mechanisms have been used by governments to accelerate the adoption of solar power. Examples of customer-focused financial mechanisms include capital cost rebates, performance-based incentives, feed-in tariffs, tax credits, and net metering. Some of these government mandates and economic incentives are scheduled to be reduced or to expire, or could be eliminated altogether. Capital cost rebates provide funds to customers based on the cost and size of a customer’s solar power system. Performance-based incentives provide funding to a customer based on the energy produced by their solar power system. Feed-in tariffs pay customers for solar power system generation based on energy produced, at a rate generally guaranteed for a period of time. Tax credits reduce a customer’s taxes at the time the taxes are due. In the United States and other countries, net metering has often been used as a supplemental program in conjunction with other policy mechanisms. Under net metering, a customer can generate more energy than is used, during which periods the electricity meter will run backwards. During these periods, the customer "lends" electricity to the grid, retrieving an equal amount of power at a later time.

In addition to the mechanisms described above, new market development mechanisms to encourage the use of renewable energy sources continue to emerge. For example, many states in the United States have adopted renewable portfolio

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standards which mandate that a certain portion of electricity delivered to customers come from eligible renewable energy resources. In certain developing countries, governments are establishing initiatives to expand access to electricity, including initiatives to support off-grid rural electrification using solar power. For more information about how we avail ourselves of the benefits of public policies and the risks related to public policies, please see the risk factors set forth under the caption "Item 1A. Risk Factors" including "Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—The reduction, modification or elimination of government incentives could cause our revenue to decline and harm our financial results," and "Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—Existing regulations and policies and changes to these regulations and policies may present technical, regulatory, and economic barriers to the purchase and use of solar power products, which may significantly reduce demand for our products and services."

Environmental Regulations

We use, generate, and discharge toxic, volatile, or otherwise hazardous chemicals and wastes in our research and development, manufacturing, and construction activities. We are subject to a variety of foreign, U.S. federal and state, and local governmental laws and regulations related to the purchase, storage, use, and disposal of hazardous materials. We believe that we have all environmental permits necessary to conduct our business and expect to obtain all necessary environmental permits for future activities. We believe that we have properly handled our hazardous materials and wastes and have appropriately remediated any contamination at any of our premises. For more information about risks related to environmental regulations, please see the risk factors set forth under the caption "Item 1A. Risk Factors" including "Risks Related to Our Operations—Compliance with environmental regulations can be expensive, and noncompliance with these regulations may result in adverse publicity and potentially significant monetary damages and fines."

The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012

Section 13(r) to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), requires us to disclose whether Total S.A. or any of its affiliates (collectively, the “Total Group”) engaged during the 2014 calendar year in certain Iran-related activities. While the Total Group has not engaged in any activity that would be required to be disclosed pursuant to subparagraphs (A), (B) or (C) of Section 13(r)(1), affiliates of Total S.A. may be deemed to have engaged in certain transactions or dealings with the government of Iran that would require disclosure pursuant to Section 13(r)(1)(D)(iii), as discussed below. All foreign currency translations to USD are made using exchange rates as of December 28, 2014.

Upstream

The Total Group has no exploration and production activities in Iran and maintains a local office in Iran solely for non-operational functions. Some payments are yet to be reimbursed to the Total Group with respect to past expenditures and remuneration under buyback contracts entered into between 1997 and 1999 with the National Iranian Oil Company (“NIOC”) for the development of the South Pars 2&3 and Dorood fields. With respect to these contracts, development operations were completed in 2010 and the Total Group is no longer involved in the operation of these fields. In 2014, Total E&P Iran (100%), Elf Petroleum Iran (99.8%), Total Sirri (100%) and Total South Pars (99.8%) collectively made payments of less than €0.5 million (approximately $0.6 million) to (i) the Iranian government for taxes and social security contributions concerning the personnel of the aforementioned local office and residual buyback contract-related obligations, and (ii) Iranian public entities for payments with respect to the maintenance of the aforementioned local office (e.g., utilities, telecommunications). Total S.A. expects similar payments to be made by these affiliates in 2015. Neither revenues nor profits were recognized from the aforementioned activities in 2014.

Total E&P UK Limited (“TEP UK”), a wholly-owned affiliate of Total S.A., holds a 43.25% interest in a joint venture at the Bruce field in the United Kingdom with BP (37.5%, operator), BHP Billiton Petroleum Great Britain Ltd (16%) and Marubeni Oil & Gas (North Sea) Limited (3.75%). This joint venture and TEP UK’s Frigg UK Association pipeline (100%) are parties to agreements (the "Rhum Agreements") governing certain transportation, processing and operation services provided to a joint venture at the Rhum field in the United Kingdom that is co-owned by BP (50%, operator) and the Iranian Oil Company UK Ltd ("IOC"), a subsidiary of NIOC (50%). To Total S.A.’s knowledge, no provision of all services under the Rhum Agreements were initially suspended in November 2010, when the Rhum field stopped production following the adoption of EU sanctions, other than critical safety-related services (i.e., monitoring and marine inspection of the Rhum facilities), which are permitted by EU sanctions regulations. On October 22, 2013, the UK government notified IOC of its decision to apply a temporary management scheme to IOC’s interest in the Rhum field within the meaning of UK Regulations 3 and 5 of the Hydrocarbons (Temporary Management Scheme) Regulations 2013 (the “Hydrocarbons Regulations”). Since that date all correspondence in respect of the IOC's interest in the Rhum Agreements has been with the UK government in its capacity as temporary manager of IOC's interests and TEP UK has no contact with IOC in 2014 regarding the Rhum Agreements. On December 6, 2013, the UK government authorized TEP UK, among others, under Article 43a of EU Regulation 267/2012, as

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amended by 1263/2012 and under Regulation 9 of the Hydrocarbons Regulations, to carry out activities in relation to the operation and production of the Rhum field. In addition, on September 4, 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a license to BP authorizing BP and certain others to engage in various activities relating to the operation and production of the Rhum field. Following receipt of all necessary authorizations, the Rhum field resumed production on October 26, 2014 with IOC's interest in the Rhum field and the Rhum Agreements subject to the UK government's temporary management pursuant to the Hydrocarbons Regulations. Services have been provided by TEP UK under the Rhum Agreements since that date and TEP UK has received tariff income from BP and the UK government (in its capacity as temporary manager of IOC's interest in the Rhum field) in accordance with the terms of the Rhum Agreements. In 2014, these activities generated for TEP UK gross revenue of approximately £1.7 million (approximately $2.6 million) and net profit of approximately £670,000 (approximately $1.0 million). TEP UK intends to continue such activities so long as they continue to be permissible under UK and EU law and not violate applicable international economic sanctions.

Downstream

The Total Group does not purchase Iranian hydrocarbons or own or operate any refineries or chemicals plants in Iran.

Until December 2012, at which time it sold its entire interest, the Total Group held a 50% interest in the company Beh Total (now named Beh Tam) along with Behran Oil (50%), a company controlled by entities with ties to the government of Iran. As part of the sale of the Total Group’s interest in Beh Tam, Total S.A. agreed to license the trademark “Total” to Beh Tam for an initial three-year period for the sale by Beh Tam of lubricants to domestic consumers in Iran. Total E&P Iran (“TEPI”), a wholly-owned affiliate of Total S.A., received, on behalf of Total S.A., royalty payments of approximately IRR 24 billion (approximately $0.9 million) from Beh Tam in 2014 for such license. These payments were based on Beh Tam’s sales of lubricants during the previous calendar year. Representatives of the Total Group and Beh Tam met several times in 2014 to discuss the local lubricants market and further discussions are expected to take place in the future. Similar payments are expected to be received from Beh Tam in 2015.

Total Marketing Middle East FZE (“TMME”), a wholly-owned affiliate of the Total Group, sold lubricants to Beh Tam in 2014. The sale in 2014 of approximately 4,805 tons of lubricants generated gross revenue of approximately AED 47.6 million (approximately $13.0 million) and a net profit of approximately AED 9.3 million (approximately $2.5 million). TMME expects to continue such activity in 2015.

Total Ethiopia Ltd (“TEL”), an Ethiopian company held 99.99% by the Total Group and the rest by three Total Group employees, paid approximately ETB 154,000 (approximately $7,500 in 2014 to Merific Iran Gas Co, an Ethiopian company majority-owned by entities affiliated with the government of Iran, pursuant to a contract for the transport and storage of LPG in Ethiopia purchased by TEL from international markets. TEL stopped pursuing this activity in May 2014.

Total Deutschland GmbH ("Total Deutschland"), a German company wholly-owned by the Total Group, provided in 2014 fuel payment cards to Iranian diplomatic missions in Germany for use in the Total Group's service stations. In 2014, these activities generated gross revenue of approximately €2,350 (approximately $2,850) and a net profit of less than €50 (less than $60). Total Deutschland terminated these arrangements effective April 30, 2014.

Total Marketing Services ("TMS"), a French company wholly-owned by Total S.A. and six Total Group employees, provided in 2014 fuel payment cards to the Iranian embassy in France for use in the Total Group's service stations. In 2014, these activities generated gross revenues of approximately €30,200 (approximately $36,800) and net income of approximately €1,100 (approximately $1,350). TMS expects to continue this activity in 2015.

Caldeo, a French company wholly-owned by TMS, sold in 2014 domestic heating oil to the Iranian embassy in France, which generated gross revenue of approximately €6,300 (approximately $7,700) and net income of approximately €300 (approximately $365). Caldeo expects to continue this activity in 2015.

Employees

As of December 28, 2014, we had approximately 7,188 full-time employees worldwide, of which 31% were located in the Americas Segment, 6% were located in the EMEA Segment, and 63% were located in the APAC Segment. Of these employees, 5,227 were engaged in manufacturing, 615 in construction projects, 377 in research and development, 503 in sales and marketing, and 466 in general and administrative services. Although in certain countries we have works councils and statutory employee representation obligations, our employees are generally not represented by labor unions on an ongoing basis. We have never experienced a work stoppage, and we believe our relations with our employees are good.


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Geographic Information

Information regarding financial data by segment and geographic area is available in Note 5 and Note 17 under "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements."

Available Information

We make available our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") free of charge on our website at www.sunpower.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. The contents of our website are not incorporated into, or otherwise to be regarded as part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Copies of such material may be obtained, free of charge, upon written request submitted to our corporate headquarters: SunPower Corporation, Attn: Investor Relations, 77 Rio Robles, San Jose, California, 95134. Copies of materials we file with the SEC may also be accessed at the SEC's Public Reference Room at 100 F Street NE, Washington, D.C., or at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. The public may obtain additional information on the operation of the SEC's Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.


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ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

Our business is subject to various risks and uncertainties, including those described below and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Although we believe that we have identified and discussed below certain key risk factors affecting our business, there may be additional risks and uncertainties that are not currently known to us or that are not currently believed by us to be material that may also harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Risks Related to Our Sales Channels
 
The increase in the global supply of solar cells and panels, and increasing competition, may cause substantial downward pressure on the prices of such products and cause us to lose sales or market share, resulting in lower revenues, earnings, and cash flows.

Global solar cell and panel production capacity has been materially increasing, and solar cell and solar panel manufacturers continue to have excess capacity, particularly in China. Excess capacity and industry competition have resulted, and we expect will continue to result, in substantial downward pressure on the price of solar cells and panels, including SunPower products. Intensifying competition could also cause us to lose sales or market share. Such price reductions or loss of sales or market share could have a negative impact on our revenue and earnings, and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and cash flows. In addition, our internal pricing forecasts may not be accurate in the current market environment, which could cause our financial results to be different than forecasted. See also "Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—If we fail to successfully execute our cost reduction roadmap, or fail to develop and introduce new and enhanced products and services, we may be unable to compete effectively, and our ability to generate revenues would suffer."
 
Our operating results are subject to significant fluctuations and are inherently unpredictable.
 
We do not know whether our revenue will continue to grow, or if it will continue to grow sufficiently to outpace our expenses. We may not be profitable on a quarterly basis. Our quarterly revenue and operating results are difficult to predict and have in the past fluctuated significantly from quarter to quarter. Revenue from our large commercial and utilities and power plant customers (for example, our Solar Star Projects) is particularly susceptible to large fluctuations. The amount, timing and mix of sales to our large commercial, utilities and power plant customers, often for a single medium or large-scale project, may cause large fluctuations in our revenue and other financial results as, at any given time, a single large-scale project can account for a material portion of our total revenue in a given quarter. Our inability to monetize our projects as planned, or any delay in obtaining the required government support or initial payments to begin recognizing revenue under the relevant recognition criteria, and the corresponding revenue impact under the percentage-of-completion method of recognizing revenue, may similarly cause large fluctuations in our revenue and other financial results. In the event a project is subsequently canceled, abandoned, or is deemed unlikely to occur, we will charge all prior capital costs as an operating expense in the quarter in which such determination is made, which could materially adversely affect operating results. A delayed disposition of a project could require us to recognize a gain on the sale of assets instead of recognizing revenue. Further, our revenue mix of materials sales versus project sales can fluctuate dramatically from quarter to quarter, which may adversely affect our margins and financial results in any given period. Any decrease in revenue from our large commercial, utilities and power plant customers, whether due to a loss or delay of projects or an inability to collect, could have a significant negative impact on our business. See also "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk." Our agreements with these customers may be canceled if we fail to meet certain product specifications or materially breach the agreement. In the event of a customer bankruptcy, our customers may seek to renegotiate the terms of current agreements or renewals. In addition, the failure by any significant customer to pay for orders, whether due to liquidity issues or otherwise, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations. Sales to our residential and light commercial customers are similarly susceptible to fluctuations in volumes and revenue. In addition, demand from our commercial and residential customers may fluctuate based on the perceived cost-effectiveness of the electricity generated by our solar power systems as compared to conventional energy sources, such as natural gas and coal (which fuel sources are subject to significant price swings from time to time), and other non-solar renewable energy sources, such as wind. Declining average selling prices immediately affect our residential and light commercial sales volumes, and therefore lead to large fluctuations in revenue. Any of the foregoing may cause us to miss our financial guidance for a given period and negatively affect our liquidity.
 
We base our planned operating expenses in part on our expectations of future revenue and a significant portion of our expenses is fixed in the short term. If revenue for a particular quarter is lower than we expect, we likely will be unable to proportionately reduce our operating expenses for that quarter, which would materially adversely affect our operating results for that quarter. See also "—Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—Our business could be adversely affected by seasonal trends and construction cycles."

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The execution of our growth strategy is dependent upon the continued availability of third-party financing arrangements for our solar power plants, our residential lease program and our customers, and is affected by general economic conditions.
 
Global economic conditions, including the limited availability of credit and liquidity, could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations. We often require project financing for development and construction of our solar power plant projects, which require significant investments before the equity is later sold to investors. Many purchasers of our systems projects have entered into third-party arrangements to finance their systems over an extended period of time, while many end-customers have chosen to purchase solar electricity under a PPA with an investor or financing company that purchases the system from us or our authorized dealers. In addition, under our power purchase business model, we often execute PPAs directly with the end-user, with the expectation that we will later assign the PPA to a financier. Under such arrangements, the financier separately contracts with us to acquire and build the solar power system, and then sells the electricity to the end-user under the assigned PPA. When executing PPAs with end-users, we seek to mitigate the risk that financing will not be available for the project by allowing termination of the PPA in such event without penalty. However, we may not always be successful in negotiating for penalty-free termination rights for failure to obtain financing, and certain end-users have required substantial financial penalties in exchange for such rights. These structured finance arrangements are complex and may not be feasible in many situations.
 
Credit markets are unpredictable and if they become more challenging, we may be unable to obtain project financing for our projects, customers may be unable or unwilling to finance the cost of our products, we may have difficulties in reaching agreements with financiers to finance the construction of our solar power systems, or the parties that have historically provided this financing may cease to do so, or only do so on terms that are substantially less favorable for us or our customers, any of which could materially and adversely affect our revenue and growth in all segments of our business. Our plans to continue to grow our residential lease program may be delayed if credit conditions prevent us from obtaining or maintaining arrangements to finance the program. We are actively arranging additional third-party financing for our residential lease program; however, if we encounter challenging credit markets, we may be unable to arrange additional financing partners for our residential lease program in future periods, which could have a negative impact on our sales.  In the event we enter into a material number of additional leases without obtaining corresponding third-party financing, our cash, working capital and financial results could be negatively impacted. In addition, in the United States, with the expiration of the Treasury Grant under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program, we will need to identify in the near term interested financiers with sufficient taxable income to monetize the tax incentives created by our solar systems. In the long term, as we look towards incentive-less markets, we will continue to need to identify financiers willing to finance residential solar systems. The lack of project financing could delay the development and construction of our solar power plant projects, thus reducing our revenues from the sale of such projects. We may in some cases seek to pursue partnership arrangements with financing entities to assist residential and other customers to obtain financing for the purchase or lease of our systems, which would expose us to credit or other risks. We face competition for financing partners and if we are unable to continue to offer a competitive investment profile, we may lose access to financing partners or they may offer financing on less favorable terms than our competitors. In addition, a rise in interest rates would likely increase our customers' cost of financing or leasing our products and could reduce their profits and expected returns on investment in our products. The general reduction in available credit to would-be borrowers or lessees, worldwide economic uncertainty, and the condition of worldwide housing markets could delay or reduce our sales of products to new homebuilders and authorized resellers.

We may be unable to successfully form the previously announced YieldCo vehicle; the proposed initial public offering of the YieldCo vehicle may not occur on favorable terms or at all; and even if the proposed initial public offering is completed, we may not achieve the expected benefits.
 
On February 23, 2015, we announced that we were in advanced negotiations with First Solar, Inc. ("First Solar") to form a joint YieldCo vehicle (the “YieldCo”) into which we and First Solar each expect to contribute a portfolio of selected solar generation assets.  Upon execution of a master formation agreement, we and First Solar intend to file a registration statement with the SEC for an initial public offering of limited partner interests in the YieldCo (the “IPO”).  We and First Solar may not successfully form the YieldCo, which is subject to each party’s board and regulatory approval, and execution of definitive documentation as well as the completion of the proposed IPO.  In addition, the completion of the proposed IPO is itself subject to numerous conditions, including market conditions, and may not occur on favorable terms or at all.
Our stock price could fluctuate significantly in response to developments relating to the proposed IPO or other action or market speculation regarding the proposed IPO. In addition, the IPO process will divert the attention of management and will result in a substantial increase in general and administrative expense for third-party consultants and advisors (including legal counsel and accountants).  If the proposed IPO is not completed, we will have expended management's time and incurred significant expenses for which we will not receive any benefit.  Furthermore, some of our strategic business plans, including

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certain of our project structuring arrangements and related economics, are designed around entering into a YieldCo or similar arrangements.  If we fail to form the YieldCo or if we fail to complete the proposed IPO, we will not realize the strategic or economic benefits of these business plans and our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected. Even if the proposed IPO is completed, we may not be able to achieve the benefits we expect on a timely basis or at all.

If the proposed IPO is completed, we may not be able to achieve the full strategic and financial benefits expected to result from the proposed YieldCo, on a timely basis or at all.  We believe that the viability of the YieldCo strategy will depend, among other things, on our ability to continue to develop revenue-generating solar assets, which is subject to the same project-level, business, and industry risks described in this “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  Furthermore, if the IPO is completed, the value of our investment in the YieldCo will fluctuate and may decline.  As a result, we may never recover the value of the assets we expect to contribute to the YieldCo, and we may realize less of a return on such contribution than if we had retained or operated these assets.  If we are unable to complete the proposed IPO or if we are unable to achieve the strategic and financial benefits expected to result from the proposed IPO, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.

If we fail to successfully execute our cost reduction roadmap, or fail to develop and introduce new and enhanced products and services, we may be unable to compete effectively, and our ability to generate revenues would suffer.

Our solar panels are currently competitive in the market compared with lower cost conventional solar cells, such as thin-film, due to our products' higher efficiency. A principal component of our business strategy is reducing our costs to manufacture our products. We also focus on standardizing our products with the goal of driving down installation costs. If our competitors are able to drive down their manufacturing and installation costs faster than us or increase the efficiency of their products, our products may become less competitive even when adjusted for efficiency. Further, if raw materials costs and other third-party component costs were to increase, we may not meet our cost reduction targets. If we cannot effectively execute our cost reduction roadmap, our competitive position would suffer, and we could lose market share and our margins would be adversely affected as we face downward pricing pressure.

The solar power market is characterized by continually changing technology and improving features, such as increased efficiency, higher power output and enhanced aesthetics. Technologies developed by our direct competitors, including thin-film solar panels, concentrating solar cells, solar thermal electric and other solar technologies, may provide power at lower costs than our products. We also face competition in some markets from other power generation sources, including conventional fossil fuels, wind, biomass, and hydro. In addition, other companies could potentially develop a highly reliable renewable energy system that mitigates the intermittent power production drawback of many renewable energy systems. Companies could also offer other value-added improvements from the perspective of utilities and other system owners, in which case such companies could compete with us even if the cost of electricity associated with any such new system is higher than that of our systems.

Our failure to further refine our technology, reduce cost in our manufacturing process, and develop and introduce new solar power products could cause our products or our manufacturing facilities to become less competitive or obsolete, which could reduce our market share, cause our sales to decline, and cause the impairment of our assets. This risk requires us to continuously develop new solar power products and enhancements for existing solar power products to keep pace with evolving industry standards, competitive pricing and changing customer preferences, expectations, and requirements. It is difficult to successfully predict the products and services our customers will demand. If we cannot continually improve the efficiency of our solar panels as compared with those of our competitors, our pricing will become less competitive, we could lose market share and our margins would be adversely affected. We have new products such as our C7 Tracker, that have not been mass deployed in the market. We need to prove their reliability in the field as well as drive down their cost in order to gain market acceptance. We also compete with traditional utilities that supply energy to our potential customers. Such utilities have greater financial, technical, operational and other resources than we do. If electricity rates decrease and our products become less competitive by comparison, our operating results and financial condition will be adversely affected. As we introduce new or enhanced products or integrate new technology into our products, we will face risks relating to such transitions including, among other things, the incurrence of high fixed costs, technical challenges, acceptance of products by our customers, disruption in customers' ordering patterns, insufficient supplies of new products to meet customers' demand, possible product and technology defects arising from the integration of new technology and a potentially different sales and support environment relating to any new technology. Our failure to manage the transition to newer products or the integration of newer technology into our products could adversely affect our business's operating results and financial condition.


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Our long-term, firm commitment supply agreements could result in excess or insufficient inventory, place us at a competitive disadvantage on pricing, or lead to disputes, each of which could impair our ability to meet our cost reduction roadmap.

If our supply agreements provide insufficient inventory to meet customer demand, or if our suppliers are unable or unwilling to provide us with the contracted quantities, we may be forced to purchase additional supply at market prices, which could be greater than expected and could materially and adversely affect our results of operations. Due to the industry-wide shortage of polysilicon experienced before 2011, we purchased polysilicon that we resold to third-party ingot and wafer manufacturers who deliver wafers to us that we then use in the manufacturing of our solar cells. Without sufficient polysilicon, some of those ingot and wafer manufacturers would not have been able to produce the wafers on which we rely. We have historically entered into multiple long-term fixed supply agreements for periods of up to 10 years to match our estimated customer demand forecasts and growth strategy for the next several years. The long-term nature of these agreements, which often provide for fixed or inflation-adjusted pricing, may prevent us from benefiting from decreasing polysilicon costs, may cause us to pay more at unfavorable payment terms than the current market prices and payment terms available to our competitors, and could cause us to record an impairment. Additionally, because certain of these agreements are "take or pay," if our demand for polysilicon from these suppliers were to decrease in the future, we could be required to purchase polysilicon that we do not need, resulting in either storage costs or payment for polysilicon we nevertheless choose not to accept from such suppliers. Further, we face significant, specific counterparty risk under long-term supply agreements when dealing with suppliers without a long, stable production and financial history. In the event any such supplier experiences financial difficulties or goes into bankruptcy, it could be difficult or impossible, or may require substantial time and expense, for us to recover any or all of our prepayments. Any of the foregoing could materially harm our financial condition and results of operations.

The reduction, modification or elimination of government incentives could cause our revenue to decline and harm our financial results.
 
The market for on-grid applications, where solar power is used to supplement a customer's electricity purchased from the utility network or sold to a utility under tariff, depends in large part on the availability and size of government mandates and economic incentives because, at present, the cost of solar power generally exceeds retail electric rates in many locations and wholesale peak power rates in some locations. In addition, on-grid applications depend on access to the grid, which is also regulated by government entities. Incentives and mandates vary by geographic market. Various government bodies in most of the countries where we do business have provided incentives in the form of feed-in tariffs, rebates, and tax credits and other incentives and mandates, such as renewable portfolio standards, to end-users, distributors, system integrators and manufacturers of solar power products to promote the use of solar energy in on-grid applications and to reduce dependency on other forms of energy. In 2011, some of these government mandates and economic incentives were reduced or fundamentally restructured, including the feed-in tariffs in Germany and incentives offered by other European countries, which has had a materially negative effect on the market size and price of solar systems in Europe, caused our earnings in fiscal 2014, 2013, and 2012 to decline in Europe, to the detriment of our financial results. Governmental decisions regarding the provision of economic incentives often depend on political and economic factors that we cannot predict and that are beyond our control. Because our sales are into the on-grid market, the reduction, modification or elimination of grid access, government mandates or economic incentives in one or more of our customer markets would materially and adversely affect the growth of such markets or result in increased price competition, either of which could cause our revenue to decline and materially adversely affect our financial results.
 
Existing regulations and policies and changes to these regulations and policies may present technical, regulatory, and economic barriers to the purchase and use of solar power products, which may significantly reduce demand for our products and services.
 
The market for electric generation products is heavily influenced by federal, state and local government laws, regulations and policies concerning the electric utility industry in the United States and abroad, as well as policies promulgated by electric utilities. These regulations and policies often relate to electricity pricing and technical interconnection of customer-owned electricity generation, and could deter further investment in the research and development of alternative energy sources as well as customer purchases of solar power technology, which could result in a significant reduction in the demand for our solar power products. The market for electric generation equipment is also influenced by trade and local content laws, regulations and policies that can discourage growth and competition in the solar industry and create economic barriers to the purchase of solar power products, thus reducing demand for our solar products.  We anticipate that our solar power products and their installation will continue to be subject to oversight and regulation in accordance with federal, state, local and foreign regulations relating to construction, safety, environmental protection, utility interconnection and metering, trade, and related

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matters. It is difficult to track the requirements of individual states or local jurisdictions and design equipment to comply with the varying standards. In addition, the U.S., European Union and Chinese governments, among others, have imposed tariffs or are in the process of evaluating the imposition of tariffs on solar panels, solar cells, polysilicon and potentially other components. These tariffs may increase the price of our solar products and adversely affect our cost reduction roadmap, which could harm our results of operations and financial condition. Any new regulations or policies pertaining to our solar power products may result in significant additional expenses to us, our resellers and our resellers' customers, which could cause a significant reduction in demand for our solar power products.

As our sales to residential customers have continued to grow, we have increasingly become subject to substantial financing and consumer protection laws and regulations.

As we evolve to become a more customer-facing company, our activities with customers, and in particular, our financing activities with our residential customers, are subject to federal truth-in-lending, consumer leasing, and equal credit opportunity laws and regulations, as well as state and local finance laws and regulations. Claims arising out of actual or alleged violations of law may be asserted against us by individuals or governmental entities and may expose us to significant damages or other penalties, including fines.

Similarly, as we engage more customers, our operations are increasingly subject to consumer protection laws. Possible penalties for violation of any of these laws or regulations include civil or criminal fines and penalties. In addition, many laws may give customers a private cause of action. Violation of these laws, the cost of compliance with these laws, or changes in these laws could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
 
We may incur unexpected warranty and product liability claims that could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Our current standard product warranty for our solar panels includes a 25-year warranty period for defects in materials and workmanship and for declines in power performance. We believe our warranty offering exceeds industry practice. We perform accelerated lifecycle testing that exposes our solar panels to extreme stress and climate conditions in both environmental simulation chambers and in actual field deployments in order to highlight potential failures that could occur over the 25-year warranty period. This long warranty period creates a risk of extensive warranty claims long after we have shipped product and recognized revenue. Although we conduct accelerated testing of our solar panels and have several years of experience with our all-back-contact solar cell architecture, our solar panels have not and cannot be tested in an environment that exactly simulates the 25-year warranty period and it is difficult to test for all conditions that may occur in the field. Although we have not faced any material warranty claims to date, we have sold solar panels under warranty since the early 2000s and have therefore not experienced the full warranty cycle.
 
In our project installations, our current standard warranty for our solar power systems differs by geography and end-customer application and usually includes a limited warranty of 10 years for defects in workmanship, after which the customer may typically extend the period covered by its warranty for an additional fee. This long warranty period creates a risk of extensive warranty claims long after we have completed a project and recognized revenues. Warranty and product liability claims may also result from defects or quality issues in certain third party technology and components that our business incorporates into its solar power systems, particularly solar cells and panels, over which we have little or no control. See also “—Risks Related to Our Supply Chain—We will continue to be dependent on a limited number of third-party suppliers for certain raw materials and components for our products, which could prevent us from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes and could in turn result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, penalty payments and loss of market share.” While we generally pass through to our customers manufacturer warranties we receive from our suppliers, in some circumstances, we may be responsible for repairing or replacing defective parts during our warranty period, often including those covered by manufacturers' warranties, or incur other non-warranty costs. If a manufacturer disputes or otherwise fails to honor its warranty obligations, we may be required to incur substantial costs before we are compensated, if at all, by the manufacturer. Furthermore, our warranties may exceed the period of any warranties from our suppliers covering components, such as third-party solar cells, third-party panels and third-party inverters, included in our systems. In addition, manufacturer warranties may not fully compensate us for losses associated with third-party claims caused by defects or quality issues in their products. For example, most manufacturer warranties exclude certain losses that may result from a system component's failure or defect, such as the cost of de-installation, re-installation, shipping, lost electricity, lost renewable energy credits or other solar incentives, personal injury, property damage, and other losses. In certain cases the direct warranty coverage we provide to our customers, and therefore our financial exposure, may exceed our recourse available against cell, panel or other manufacturers for defects in their products. In addition, in the event we seek recourse through warranties, we will also be dependent on the creditworthiness and continued existence of the suppliers to our business. In the past, certain of our suppliers have entered bankruptcy and our likelihood of a successful warranty claim against such suppliers is minimal.

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Increases in the defect rate of SunPower or third-party products could cause us to increase the amount of warranty reserves and have a corresponding material, negative impact on our results of operations. Further, potential future product failures could cause us to incur substantial expense to repair or replace defective products, and we have agreed in some circumstances to indemnify our customers and our distributors against liability from some defects in our solar products. A successful indemnification claim against us could require us to make significant damage payments. Repair and replacement costs, as well as successful indemnification claims, could materially and negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.
 
Like other retailers, distributors and manufacturers of products that are used by customers, we face an inherent risk of exposure to product liability claims in the event that the use of the solar power products into which solar cells and solar panels are incorporated results in injury, property damage or other damages. We may be subject to warranty and product liability claims in the event that our solar power systems fail to perform as expected or if a failure of our solar power systems results, or is alleged to result, in bodily injury, property damage or other damages. Since our solar power products are electricity-producing devices, it is possible that our systems could result in injury, whether by product malfunctions, defects, improper installation or other causes. In addition, since we only began selling our solar cells and solar panels in the early 2000s and the products we are developing incorporate new technologies and use new installation methods, we cannot predict the extent to which product liability claims may be brought against us in the future or the effect of any resulting negative publicity on our business. Moreover, we may not have adequate resources to satisfy a successful claim against us. We rely on our general liability insurance to cover product liability claims. A successful warranty or product liability claim against us that is not covered by insurance or is in excess of our available insurance limits could require us to make significant payments of damages. In addition, quality issues can have various other ramifications, including delays in the recognition of revenue, loss of revenue, loss of future sales opportunities, increased costs associated with repairing or replacing products, and a negative impact on our goodwill and reputation, any of which could adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

A limited number of customers and large projects are expected to continue to comprise a significant portion of our revenues and any decrease in revenues from those customers or projects, payment of liquidated damages, or an increase in related expenses, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
 
Even though we expect our customer base and number of large projects to expand and our revenue streams to diversify, a substantial portion of our revenues will continue to depend on sales to a limited number of customers as well as construction of a limited number of large projects (for example, the Solar Star Projects), and the loss of sales to, or construction of, or inability to collect from those customers or for those projects, or an increase in expenses (such as financing costs) related to any such large projects, would have a significant negative impact on our business. In fiscal 2014, our top customer accounted for 49% of our total revenue. These larger projects create concentrated operating and financial risks. The effect of recognizing revenue or other financial measures on the sale of a larger project, or the failure to recognize revenue or other financial measures as anticipated in a given reporting period because a project is not yet completed under applicable accounting rules by period end, may materially affect our financial results. In addition, if construction, warranty or operational challenges arise on a larger project, or if the timing of such a project unexpectedly changes for other reasons, our financial results could be materially, adversely affected. Our agreements for such projects may be cancelled or we may incur large liquidated damages if we fail to execute the projects as planned, obtain certain approvals or consents by a specified time, meet certain product and project specifications, or if we materially breach the governing agreements, or in the event of a customer's or project entity's bankruptcy, our customers may seek to cancel or renegotiate the terms of current agreements or renewals. In addition, the failure by any significant customer to make payments when due, whether due to liquidity issues, failure of anticipated government support or otherwise, could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
 
We do not typically maintain long-term agreements with our customers and accordingly we could lose customers without warning, which could adversely affect our operating results.
 
Our product sales to residential dealers and components customers are frequently not made under long-term agreements. We often contract to construct or sell large projects with no assurance of repeat business from the same customers in the future. Although we believe that cancellations on our purchase orders to date have been infrequent, our customers may cancel or reschedule purchase orders with us on relatively short notice. Cancellations or rescheduling of customer orders could result in the delay or loss of anticipated sales without allowing us sufficient time to reduce, or delay the incurrence of, our corresponding inventory and operating expenses. In addition, changes in forecasts or the timing of orders from these or other customers expose us to the risks of inventory shortages or excess inventory. These circumstances, in addition to the completion and non-repetition of large projects, declining average selling prices, changes in the relative mix of sales of solar equipment versus solar project installations, and the fact that our supply agreements are generally long-term in nature and many of our other operating

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costs are fixed, could cause our operating results to fluctuate and may result in a material adverse effect in our business, results of operations, and financial condition. In addition, since we rely partly on our network of international dealers for marketing and other promotional programs, if our dealers fail to perform up to our standards, our operating results could be adversely affected. 

Our business could be adversely affected by seasonal trends and construction cycles.
 
Our business is subject to significant industry-specific seasonal fluctuations. Our sales have historically reflected these seasonal trends, with the largest percentage of our total revenues realized during the last two calendar quarters. There are various reasons for this seasonality, mostly related to economic incentives and weather patterns. For example, in European countries with feed-in tariffs, the construction of solar power systems may be concentrated during the second half of the calendar year, largely due to the annual reduction of the applicable minimum feed-in tariff and the fact that the coldest winter months in the Northern Hemisphere are January through March. In the United States, many customers make purchasing decisions towards the end of the year in order to take advantage of tax credits. In addition, sales in the new home development market are often tied to construction market demands, which tend to follow national trends in construction, including declining sales during cold weather months.
 
The competitive environment in which we operate often requires us to undertake customer obligations, which may turn out to be more costly than anticipated and, in turn, materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.
 
We are often required, as a condition of financing or at the request of our end customer, to undertake certain obligations such as:
 
system output performance warranties;

system maintenance;

penalty payments or customer termination rights if the system we are constructing is not commissioned within specified timeframes or other construction milestones are not achieved;

guarantees of certain minimum residual value of the system at specified future dates;

system put-rights whereby we could be required to buy back a customer's system at fair value on a future date if certain minimum performance thresholds are not met; and

indemnification against losses they may suffer as a result of reductions in benefits received under the ITC and Treasury Cash Grant programs.
 
Such financing arrangements and customer obligations involve complex accounting analyses and judgments regarding the timing of revenue and expense recognition, and in certain situations these factors may require us to defer revenue recognition until projects are completed, which could adversely affect our revenues and profits in a particular period.

Risks Related to Our Liquidity
 
We may be unable to generate sufficient cash flows or obtain access to external financing necessary to fund our operations and make adequate capital investments as planned due to the general economic environment and the continued market pressure driving down the average selling prices of our solar power products, among other factors.

We expect total capital expenditures related to purchases of property, plant and equipment in the range of $300 million to $350 million in fiscal 2015. To develop new products, support future growth, achieve operating efficiencies, and maintain product quality, we must make significant capital investments in manufacturing technology, facilities and capital equipment, research and development, and product and process technology. We also anticipate increased costs as we make advance payments for raw materials or pay to procure such materials, especially polysilicon, increase our sales and marketing efforts, invest in joint ventures and acquisitions, invest in our residential lease business, and continue our research and development. Our manufacturing and assembly activities have required and will continue to require significant investment of capital and substantial engineering expenditures. In addition, we expect to invest a significant amount of capital to develop solar power systems and plants for sale to customers. Developing and constructing solar power plants requires significant time and substantial initial investments. The delayed disposition of such projects could have a negative impact on our liquidity. See "—Risks Related to Our Operations—

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Project development or construction activities may not be successful and we may make significant investments without first obtaining project financing, which could increase our costs and impair our ability to recover our investments." See also "—Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—A limited number of customers and large projects are expected to continue to comprise a significant portion of our revenues and any decrease in revenues from those customers or projects, payment of liquidated damages, or an increase in related expenses, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition."

Our capital expenditures and use of working capital may be greater than we anticipate if we decide to make additional investments in the development and construction of solar power plants, or if sales of power plants and associated receipt of cash proceeds is delayed, or if we decide to accelerate increases in our manufacturing capacity internally or through capital contributions to joint ventures. In addition, we could in the future make additional investments in certain of our joint ventures or could guarantee certain financial obligations of our joint ventures, which could reduce our cash flows, increase our indebtedness and expose us to the credit risk of our joint venture partners. In addition, if our financial results or operating plans deviate from our current assumptions, we may not have sufficient resources to support our business plan. See "—We have a significant amount of debt outstanding. Our substantial indebtedness and other contractual commitments could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as our ability to meet our payment obligations under our debentures and our other debt."

Certain of our customers also require performance bonds issued by a bonding agency, or bank guarantees or letters of credit issued by financial institutions, which are returned to SunPower upon satisfaction of contractual requirements. If there is a contractual dispute with the customer, the customer may withhold the security or make a draw under such security, which could have an adverse impact on our liquidity. Our uncollateralized letter of credit facility with Deutsche Bank, which as of December 28, 2014 had an outstanding amount of $654.7 million, is guaranteed by Total S.A. pursuant to the Credit Support Agreement between us and Total S.A (the "Credit Support Agreement"). Any draws under this uncollateralized facility would require SunPower to immediately reimburse the bank for the drawn amount. A default under the Credit Support Agreement or the guaranteed letter of credit facility, or if our other indebtedness greater than $25 million becomes accelerated, could cause Total S.A. to declare all amounts due and payable to Total S.A. and direct the bank to cease issuing additional letters of credit on behalf of SunPower, which could have a material adverse effect on our operations.

We believe that our current cash and cash equivalents, cash generated from operations, and funds available under our revolving credit facility with Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank ("Credit Agricole") will be sufficient to meet our working capital requirements and fund our committed capital expenditures over the next 12 months, including the development and construction of our planned solar power plants. As of December 28, 2014, we had $250.0 million available under our revolving credit facility with Credit Agricole. 

The lenders under our credit facilities and holders of our debentures may also require us to repay our indebtedness to them in the event that our obligations under other indebtedness or contracts in excess of the applicable threshold amount, are accelerated and we fail to discharge such obligations. If our capital resources are insufficient to satisfy our liquidity requirements, for example, due to cross acceleration of indebtedness, we may seek to sell additional equity securities or debt securities or obtain other debt financings. Market conditions, however, could limit our ability to raise capital by issuing new equity or debt securities on acceptable terms, and lenders may be unwilling to lend funds on acceptable terms. The sale of additional equity securities or convertible debt securities may result in additional dilution to our stockholders. Additional debt would result in increased expenses and could impose new restrictive covenants that may be different from those restrictions contained in the covenants under certain of our current debt agreements and debentures. Financing arrangements, including project financing for our solar power plants and letters of credit facilities, may not be available to us, or may not be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us. If additional financing is not available, we may be forced to seek to sell assets or reduce or delay capital investments, any of which could adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our $250 million of 4.50% debentures due 2015 are classified as short-term debt on our Consolidated Balance Sheet. We are evaluating options to repay or refinance such indebtedness during fiscal 2015, but there are no assurances that we will be able to refinance such indebtedness on similar or superior terms to the expiring indebtedness. Finally, if we cannot generate sufficient cash flows, find other sources of capital to fund our operations and solar power plant projects, make adequate capital investments to remain technologically and price competitive, or provide bonding or letters of credit required by our projects, we may need to sell additional equity securities or debt securities, or obtain other debt financings. If adequate funds and other resources are not available on acceptable terms, our ability to fund our operations, develop and construct solar power plants, develop and expand our manufacturing operations and distribution network, maintain our research and development efforts, provide collateral for our projects, meet our debt service obligations, or otherwise respond to competitive pressures would be significantly impaired. Our inability to do any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.


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We have a significant amount of debt outstanding. Our substantial indebtedness and other contractual commitments could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as our ability to meet our payment obligations under our debentures and our other debt.

We currently have a significant amount of debt and debt service requirements. As of December 28, 2014, we had approximately $1.2 billion of outstanding debt for borrowed money.

This level of debt could have material consequences on our future operations, including:

making it more difficult for us to meet our payment and other obligations under our debentures and our other outstanding debt;

resulting in an event of default if we fail to comply with the financial and other restrictive covenants contained in our debt agreements (with certain covenants becoming more restrictive over time), which event of default could result in all or a significant portion of our debt becoming immediately due and payable;

reducing the availability of our cash flows to fund working capital, capital expenditures, project development, acquisitions and other general corporate purposes, and limiting our ability to obtain additional financing for these purposes;

subjecting us to the risk of increased sensitivity to interest rate increases on our indebtedness with variable interest rates, including borrowings under our credit agreement with Credit Agricole;

limiting our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, and increasing our vulnerability to, changes in our business, the industry in which we operate and the general economy; and

placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared with our competitors that have less debt or are less leveraged.

In the event—expected or unexpected—that any of our joint ventures is consolidated with our financial statements, such consolidation could significantly increase our indebtedness. See also "—Risks Related to Our Operations—We may in the future be required to consolidate the assets, liabilities and financial results of certain of our existing or future joint ventures, which could have an adverse impact on our financial position, gross margin and operating results."

Our ability to meet our payment and other obligations under our debt instruments depends on our ability to generate significant cash flows, which, to some extent, is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative and regulatory factors as well as other factors that are beyond our control. We cannot assure you that our business will generate cash flows from operations, or that future borrowings will be available to us under our existing or any future credit facilities or otherwise, in an amount sufficient to enable us to meet our payment obligations under our debentures and our other debt and to fund other liquidity needs. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flows to service our debt obligations, we may need to refinance or restructure our debt, including our debentures, sell assets, reduce or delay capital investments, or seek to raise additional capital.

Our current tax holidays in the Philippines and Switzerland have expired or will expire within the next several years.

We benefit from income tax holiday incentives in the Philippines in accordance with our subsidiary's registration with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority ("PEZA"), which provide that we pay no income tax in the Philippines for those operations subject to the ruling. Tax savings associated with the Philippines tax holidays were approximately $8.3 million, $11.7 million, and $9.5 million in fiscal 2014, 2013, and 2012, respectively. Our income tax holidays were granted as manufacturing lines were placed in service and have expired within this fiscal year. We have applied for extensions and renewals upon expiration; however, while we expect all approvals to be granted, we can offer no assurance that they will be. We believe that if our Philippine tax holidays are not extended or renewed, (a) gross income attributable to activities covered by our PEZA registrations will be taxed at a 5% preferential rate, and (b) our Philippine net income attributable to all other activities will be taxed at the statutory Philippine corporate income tax rate, currently 30%. An increase in our tax liability could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We have an auxiliary company ruling in Switzerland where we sell our solar power products. The auxiliary company ruling results in a reduced effective Swiss tax rate of approximately 11.5%. Tax savings associated with this ruling were approximately $3.5 million, $1.5 million, and $1.8 million in fiscal 2014, 2013, and 2012, respectively. The current ruling

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expires in 2019. If the ruling is not renewed in 2019, Swiss income would be taxable at the full Swiss tax rate of approximately 24.2%.

Our joint venture AUOSP benefits from a tax holiday granted by the Malaysian government subject to certain hiring, capital spending, and manufacturing requirements. The joint venture partners of AUOSP have decided to postpone the construction of an additional manufacturing facility ("Fab 3B"), which fails to meet certain conditions required to continue to benefit from the tax ruling. Our joint venture is currently in discussions with the Malaysian government to extend the period by which buildout has to be completed. Should AUOSP be unable to renegotiate the tax ruling, they could be retroactively and prospectively subject to statutory tax rates and repayment of certain incentives which could negatively impact our share of equity earnings reported in our Consolidated Statements of Operations.

A change in our effective tax rate can have a significant adverse impact on our business, and an adverse outcome resulting from examination of our income or other tax returns could adversely affect our results.

A number of factors may adversely affect our future effective tax rates, such as the jurisdictions in which our profits are determined to be earned and taxed; changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities; adjustments to estimated taxes upon finalization of various tax returns; adjustments to our interpretation of transfer pricing standards, changes in available tax credits, grants and other incentives; changes in stock-based compensation expense; changes in tax laws or the interpretation of such tax laws (for example, proposals for fundamental U.S. international tax reform); changes in U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; expiration or the inability to renew tax rulings or tax holiday incentives; and the repatriation of non-U.S. earnings for which we have not previously provided for U.S. taxes. A change in our effective tax rate due to any of these factors may adversely affect our future results from operations.

Significant judgment is required to determine the recognition and measurement attribute prescribed in the accounting guidance for uncertainty in income taxes. The accounting guidance for uncertainty in income taxes applies to all income tax positions, including the potential recovery of previously paid taxes, which if settled unfavorably could adversely affect our provision for income taxes. In addition, we are subject to examination of our income tax returns by various tax authorities. We regularly assess the likelihood of adverse outcomes resulting from any examination to determine the adequacy of our provision for income taxes. An adverse determination of an examination could have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition. See "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 12. Derivative Financial Instruments."
 
Our credit agreements contain covenant restrictions that may limit our ability to operate our business.
 
We may be unable to respond to changes in business and economic conditions, engage in transactions that might otherwise be beneficial to us, or obtain additional financing, because our debt agreements, our Credit Support Agreement with Total S.A., our Affiliation Agreement with Total, foreign exchange hedging agreements and equity derivative agreements contain, and any of our other future similar agreements may contain, covenant restrictions that limit our ability to, among other things:

incur additional debt, assume obligations in connection with letters of credit, or issue guarantees;

create liens;

make certain investments or acquisitions;

enter into transactions with our affiliates;

sell certain assets;

redeem capital stock or make other restricted payments;

declare or pay dividends or make other distributions to stockholders; and

merge or consolidate with any person.

Our ability to comply with these covenants is dependent on our future performance, which will be subject to many factors, some of which are beyond our control, including prevailing economic conditions. In addition, our failure to comply with these covenants could result in a default under our other debt instruments, which could permit the holders to accelerate

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such debt. If any of our debt is accelerated, we may not have sufficient funds available to repay such debt, which could materially and negatively affect our financial condition and results of operation.

Risks Related to Our Supply Chain
 
We will continue to be dependent on a limited number of third-party suppliers for certain raw materials and components for our products, which could prevent us from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes and could in turn result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, penalty payments and loss of market share.
 
We rely on a limited number of third-party suppliers, including our joint ventures, for certain raw materials and components for our solar cells, panels and power systems such as polysilicon, inverters and module material. If we fail to maintain our relationships with our suppliers, or if suppliers are unable to meet demand through industry consolidation, we may be unable to manufacture our products or our products may be available only at a higher cost or after a long delay. Such delays could prevent us from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes and cause order cancellations and loss of market share. To the extent the processes that our suppliers use to manufacture components are proprietary, we may be unable to obtain comparable components from alternative suppliers. In addition, the financial markets could limit our suppliers' ability to raise capital if required to expand their production or satisfy their operating capital requirements. As a result, they could be unable to supply necessary raw materials, inventory and capital equipment to us which we would require to support our planned sales operations which would in turn negatively impact our sales volumes profitability and cash flows. The failure of a supplier to supply raw materials or components in a timely manner, or to supply raw materials or components that meet our quality, quantity and cost requirements, could impair our ability to manufacture our products or increase the cost of production. If we cannot obtain substitute materials or components on a timely basis or on acceptable terms, we could be prevented from delivering our products to our customers within required timeframes, which could result in sales and installation delays, cancellations, penalty payments or loss of market share, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

We may utilize construction loans, term loans, sale-leaseback, preferred equity and other financing structures to fund acquisition, development, construction and expansion of photovoltaic power plant projects in the future, and such funds may or may not be available to further our plans. Furthermore, such project financing could increase our consolidated debt and may be structurally senior to other debt such as our Credit Agricole revolving credit facility and outstanding convertible debentures.

Certain of our subsidiaries and other affiliates are separate and distinct legal entities and, except in limited circumstances, have no obligation to pay any amounts due with respect to our indebtedness or indebtedness of other subsidiaries or affiliates, and do not guarantee the payment of interest on or principal of such indebtedness. Any such subsidiary financing would be added to our current consolidated debt levels and would likely be structurally senior to our corporate debt. In the event of a default under a project financing which we do not cure, the lenders or lessors would generally have rights to the power plant project and related assets. In the event of foreclosure after a default, we may not be able to retain any interest in the power plant project or other collateral supporting such financing. In addition, any such default or foreclosure may trigger cross default provisions in our other financing agreements, including our corporate debt obligations, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations. In the event of our bankruptcy, liquidation or reorganization (or the bankruptcy, liquidation or reorganization of a subsidiary or affiliate), such subsidiaries’ or other affiliates’ creditors, including trade creditors and holders of debt issued by such subsidiaries or affiliates, will generally be entitled to payment of their claims from the assets of those subsidiaries or affiliates before any assets are made available for distribution to us or the holders of our indebtedness. As a result, holders of our corporate indebtedness will be effectively subordinated to all present and future debts and other liabilities (including trade payables) of certain of our subsidiaries. As of December 28, 2014, our subsidiaries had approximately $152.8 million in subsidiary project financing, which is effectively senior to our corporate debt, such as our Credit Agricole revolving credit facility, our 0.875% debentures due 2021, our 0.75% debentures due 2018, our 4.5% debentures due 2015, and our 0.75% debentures due 2027.

Risks Related to Our Operations
 
We have significant international activities and customers, and plan to continue these efforts, which subject us to additional business risks, including logistical complexity and political instability.
 
A substantial portion of our sales are made to customers outside of the United States, and a substantial portion of our supply agreements are with supply and equipment vendors located outside of the United States. We have solar cell and module production lines located at our manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, Mexico, and France, and our joint venture's manufacturing facility in Malaysia.

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Risks we face in conducting business internationally include:

multiple, conflicting and changing laws and regulations, export and import restrictions, employment laws, environmental protection, regulatory requirements and other government approvals, permits and licenses;

difficulties and costs in staffing and managing foreign operations as well as cultural differences;

potentially adverse tax consequences associated with our permanent establishment of operations in more countries;

relatively uncertain legal systems, including potentially limited protection for intellectual property rights, and laws, changes in the governmental incentives we rely on, regulations and policies which impose additional restrictions on the ability of foreign companies to conduct business in certain countries or otherwise place them at a competitive disadvantage in relation to domestic companies;

repatriation of non-U.S. earnings taxed at rates lower than the U.S. statutory effective tax rate;

inadequate local infrastructure and developing telecommunications infrastructures;

financial risks, such as longer sales and payment cycles and greater difficulty collecting accounts receivable;

currency fluctuations and government-fixed foreign exchange rates and the effects of currency hedging activity or inability to hedge currency fluctuations;

political and economic instability, including wars, acts of terrorism, political unrest, boycotts, curtailments of trade and other business restrictions;

trade barriers such as export requirements, tariffs, taxes and other restrictions and expenses, which could increase the prices of our products and make us less competitive in some countries; and

liabilities associated with compliance with laws (for example, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") and similar laws outside of the United States).

In addition, we need to manage our international operations with an efficient and scalable organization. If we are unable to effectively manage our international inventory and warehouses, for example, our shipping movements may not map with product demand and flow. If we are unable to successfully manage any such risks, any one or more could materially and negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
If we experience interruptions in the operation of our solar cell production lines, or we are not successful in operating our joint venture AUOSP, our revenue and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.
 
If our solar cell or module production lines suffer problems that cause downtime, we might be unable to meet our production targets, which would adversely affect our business. Our manufacturing activities require significant management attention, a significant capital investment and substantial engineering expenditures.

We and AU Optronics Corporation ("AUO") are parties to a joint venture agreement pursuant to which we jointly own and manage AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd. ("AUOSP"), our joint venture that has constructed a manufacturing facility in Malaysia, which we call Fab 3A. The success of our manufacturing joint venture is subject to significant risks including:

cost overruns, delays, supply shortages, equipment problems and other operating difficulties;

custom-built equipment may take longer or cost more to engineer than planned and may never operate as designed;

incorporating first-time equipment designs and technology improvements, which we expect to lower unit capital and operating costs, but this new technology may not be successful;

problems managing the joint venture with AUO, whom we do not control and whose business objectives may be different from ours and may be inconsistent with our best interests;


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either party's inability to maintain compliance with the contractual terms of the joint venture agreement and challenges we could face enforcing such terms;

the joint venture's ability to obtain or maintain third party financing to fund its capital requirements;

difficulties in maintaining or improving our historical yields and manufacturing efficiencies;

difficulties in protecting our intellectual property and obtaining rights to intellectual property developed by the joint venture;

difficulties in hiring key technical, management, and other personnel;

difficulties in integration, implementing IT infrastructure and an effective control environment; and

potential inability to obtain, or obtain in a timely manner, financing, or approvals from governmental authorities for operations.
 
Any of these or similar difficulties may unexpectedly delay or increase costs of our supply of solar cells from AUOSP. In 2012, we and AUO decided to postpone construction of a second manufacturing facility (Fab 3B) that was contemplated under the AUOSP joint venture agreement and, accordingly, postponed further equity injections into AUOSP. AUOSP has a $300 million secured loan facility. The loan facility contains covenants that, among other things, require that we and AUO make scheduled equity injections into AUOSP. In connection with the decision to postpone construction of Fab 3B, AUOSP obtained a waiver from the lenders under the facility that modified and extended the equity injection schedule through December 31, 2014. As of December 31, 2014, AUOSP was in compliance with the equity injection covenant of its secured loan facility. If AUOSP violates this or any other covenant in the facility, however, absent further modification or waiver, AUOSP would be in technical breach of the loan agreement. Any such breach would not create a cross-default under our consolidated debt agreements so long as AUOSP remains unconsolidated, is not a "significant subsidiary" as defined by Reg S-X of the Exchange Act, and our ownership in AUOSP remains no higher than 50%. Nevertheless, if the lenders were to accelerate payment on the loan or foreclose on their secured collateral, our supply of solar cells could be interrupted. If we are unable to utilize our expected capacity at our AUOSP manufacturing joint venture, or the operation of our existing production lines is interrupted, our per-unit manufacturing costs would increase, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
 
If we do not achieve satisfactory yields or quality in manufacturing our solar products, our sales could decrease and our relationships with our customers and our reputation may be harmed.
 
The manufacture of solar cells is a highly complex process. Minor deviations in the manufacturing process can cause substantial decreases in yield and in some cases, cause production to be suspended or yield no output. We have from time to time experienced lower than anticipated manufacturing yields. As we expand our manufacturing capacity and qualify additional suppliers, we may initially experience lower yields. If we do not achieve planned yields, our product costs could increase, and product availability would decrease resulting in lower revenues than expected. In addition, in the process of transforming polysilicon into ingots, a significant portion of the polysilicon is removed in the process. In circumstances where we provide the polysilicon, if our suppliers do not have very strong controls in place to ensure maximum recovery and utilization, our economic yield can be less than anticipated, which would increase the cost of raw materials to us.
 
Additionally, products as complex as ours may contain undetected errors or defects, especially when first introduced. For example, our solar cells or solar panels may contain defects that are not detected until after they are shipped or are installed because we cannot test for all possible scenarios. These defects could cause us to incur significant warranty, non-warranty and re-engineering costs, divert the attention of our engineering personnel from product development efforts and significantly affect our customer relations and business reputation. If we deliver solar products with errors or defects, including cells or panels of third-party manufacturers, or if there is a perception that such solar products contain errors or defects, our credibility and the market acceptance and sales of our products could be harmed. In addition, some of our arrangements with customers include termination or put rights for non-performance. In certain limited cases, we could incur liquidated damages or even be required to buy back a customer's system at fair value on specified future dates if certain minimum performance thresholds are not met.
 
A change in our anticipated 1603 Treasury cash grant proceeds or solar investment tax credits could adversely affect our business, revenues, margins, results of operations and cash flows.

We have incorporated into our financial planning and agreements with our customers certain assumptions regarding the future level of U.S. tax incentives, including the §48(c) solar commercial investment tax credit ("ITC") and the Treasury grant

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under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the "Cash Grant") program, which is administered by the U.S. Treasury Department ("Treasury") and provides Cash Grant payments in lieu of the ITC. The ITC and Cash Grant allow qualified applicants to claim an amount equal to 30% of the eligible cost basis for qualifying solar energy property. We hold projects and have sold projects to certain customers based on certain underlying assumptions regarding the ITC and Cash Grant, including for CVSR and Solar Star.  We have also accounted for certain projects and programs in our business using the same assumptions.

Owners of our qualifying projects and our residential lease program have applied or will apply for the ITC, and have applied for the Cash Grant.  We have structured the tax incentive applications, both in timing and amount, to be in accordance with the guidance provided by Treasury and Internal Revenue Service ("IRS").  Any changes to the Treasury or IRS guidance which we relied upon in structuring our projects, failure to comply with the requirements, including the safe harbor protocols, lower levels of incentives granted, or changes in assumptions including the estimated residual values and the estimated fair market value of financed and installed systems for the purposes of Cash Grant and ITC applications, could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations. While we have received notification that certain applications related to our projects will be fully paid by Treasury, if the IRS or Treasury disagrees, as a result of any future review or audit, with the fair market value of, or other assumptions concerning, our solar projects or systems that we have constructed or that we construct in the future, including any systems for which tax incentives have already been paid, it could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. We also have obligations to indemnify certain of our customers for the loss of tax incentives to such customers. We may have to recognize impairments or lower margins than initially anticipated for certain of our projects, including Solar Star, CVSR, other projects and our residential lease program. Additionally, if the amount or timing of the Cash Grant or ITC payments received varies from what we have projected, our revenues, margins and cash flows could be adversely affected and we may have to recognize losses, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Pursuant to the Budget Control Act of 2011, Cash Grants were subject to sequestration beginning in 2013. The federal government reduced spending for the Cash Grant, with resulting decreases in Cash Grant received by us. Authorities may continue to adjust or decrease incentives from time to time or include provisions for minimum domestic content requirements or imposition of other requirements to qualify for these incentives. Any such reduction or additional requirements could adversely affect our results of operations.

There are continuing developments in the interpretation and application of how companies should calculate their eligibility and level of Cash Grant and ITC incentives. There have been recent cases in the U.S. district courts that challenge the criteria for a true lease, which could impact whether the structure of our residential lease program qualifies under the Cash Grant and ITC. Additionally, the Office of the Inspector General of the Treasury has issued subpoenas to a number of significant participants in the rooftop solar energy installation industry. The Inspector General is working with the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the administration and implementation of the Cash Grant program, including potential misrepresentations concerning the fair market value of certain solar power systems submitted for Cash Grant. While we have not received a subpoena, we could be asked to participate in the information gathering process. The results of the current investigation could affect the underlying assumption used by the solar industry, including us, in our Cash Grant and ITC applications, which could reduce eligibility and level of incentives and could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows.

We obtain certain of our capital equipment used in our manufacturing process from sole suppliers and if this equipment is damaged or otherwise unavailable, our ability to deliver products on time will suffer, which in turn could result in order cancellations and loss of revenue.
 
Some of the capital equipment used in the manufacture of our solar power products has been developed and made specifically for us, is not readily available from multiple vendors and would be difficult to repair or replace if it were to become damaged or stop working. If any of these suppliers were to experience financial difficulties or go out of business, or if there were any damage to or a breakdown of our manufacturing equipment, our business would suffer. In addition, a supplier's failure to supply this equipment in a timely manner, with adequate quality and on terms acceptable to us, could delay our future capacity expansion or manufacturing process improvements and otherwise disrupt our production schedule or increase our costs of production.
 
Project development or construction activities may not be successful and we may make significant investments without first obtaining project financing, which could increase our costs and impair our ability to recover our investments.
 
The development and construction of solar power electric generation facilities and other energy infrastructure projects involve numerous risks. We may be required to spend significant sums for preliminary engineering, permitting, legal, and other

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expenses before we can determine whether a project is feasible, economically attractive or capable of being built. In addition, we will often choose to bear the costs of such efforts prior to obtaining project financing, prior to getting final regulatory approval, and prior to our final sale to a customer, if any.

Successful completion of a particular project may be adversely affected by numerous factors, including:

failures or delays in obtaining desired or necessary land rights, including ownership, leases and/or easements;

failures or delays in obtaining necessary permits, licenses or other governmental support or approvals, or in overcoming objections from members of the public or adjoining land owners;

uncertainties relating to land costs for projects;

unforeseen engineering problems;

access to available transmission for electricity generated by our solar power plants;

construction delays and contractor performance shortfalls;

work stoppages or labor disruptions;

cost over-runs;

availability of products and components from suppliers;

adverse weather conditions;

environmental, archaeological and geological conditions; and

availability of construction and permanent financing.

If we are unable to complete the development of a solar power plant, or fail to meet one or more agreed target construction milestone dates, we may be subject to liquidated damages and/or penalties under the EPC agreement or other agreements relating to the power plant, and we typically will not be able to recover our investment in the project. We expect to invest a significant amount of capital to develop projects initially owned by us or ultimately owned by third parties. If we are unable to complete the development of a solar power project, we may write-down or write-off some or all of these capitalized investments, which would have an adverse impact on our net income in the period in which the loss is recognized.
 
If we cannot offer residential lease customers an attractive value proposition due to an inability to continue to monetize tax benefits in connection with our residential lease arrangements, an inability to obtain financing for our residential lease program, challenges implementing our third-party ownership model in new jurisdictions, declining costs of retail electricity or otherwise, we may be unable to continue to increase the size of our residential lease program, which could have a material, adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our residential lease program has been eligible for the ITC and Cash Grant. We have relied on, and expect to continue to rely on, financing structures that monetize a substantial portion of those benefits. If we were unable to continue to monetize the tax benefits in our financing structures or such tax benefits were reduced or eliminated, we might be unable to provide financing or pricing that is attractive to our customers. Under current law, the ITC will be reduced from approximately 30% of the cost of the solar system to approximately 10% for solar systems placed into service after December 31, 2016. In addition, Cash Grants are no longer available for new solar systems. Changes in existing law and interpretations by the IRS, Treasury and the courts could reduce the willingness of financing partners to invest in funds associated with our residential lease program. Additionally, benefits under the Cash Grant and ITC programs are tied, in part, to the fair market value of our systems, as ultimately determined by the federal agency administering the benefit program. This means that, in connection with implementing financing structures that monetize such benefits, we need to, among other things, assess the fair market value of our systems in order to arrive at an estimate of the amount of tax benefit expected to be derived from the benefit programs. We incorporate third-party valuation reports that we believe to be reliable into our methodology for assessing the fair market value of our systems, but these reports or other elements of our methodology may cause our fair market value estimates to differ from those ultimately determined by the federal agency administering the applicable benefit program. If the amount or timing of Cash Grant payments or ITC received in connection with our residential lease program varies from what

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we have projected, due to discrepancies in our fair value assessments or otherwise, our revenues, cash flows and margins could be adversely affected. Additionally, if any of our financing partners that currently provide financing for our solar systems decide not to continue to provide financing due to general market conditions, changes in tax benefits associated with our solar systems, concerns about our business or prospects or any other reason, or if they materially change the terms under which they are willing to provide future financing, we will need to identify new financing partners and negotiate new financing terms.

See also "—A change in our anticipated 1603 Treasury cash grant proceeds or solar investment tax credit could adversely affect our business, revenues, margins, results of operations and cash flows."

We have to quickly build infrastructure to support the residential lease program, and any failure or delay in implementing the necessary processes and infrastructure could adversely affect our financial results. We establish credit approval limits based on the credit quality of our customers. We may be unable to collect rent payments from our residential lease customers in the event they enter into bankruptcy or otherwise fail to make payments when due. If we experience higher customer default rates than we currently experience or if we lower credit rating requirements for new customers, it could be more difficult or costly to attract future financing. See also "—Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—The execution of our growth strategy is dependent upon the continued availability of third-party financing arrangements for our solar power plants, our residential lease program and our customers, and is affected by general economic conditions." We make certain assumptions in accounting for our residential lease program, including, among others, assumptions in accounting for our residual value of the leased systems.  As our residential lease program grows, if the residual value of leased systems does not materialize as assumed, it will adversely affect our results of operations. At the end of the term of the lease, our customers have the option to extend the lease and certain of those customers may either purchase the leased systems at fair market value or return them to us. Should there be a large number of returns, we may incur de-installation costs in excess of amounts reserved.

We believe that, as with our other customers, retail electricity prices factor significantly into the value proposition of our products for our residential lease customers. If prices for retail electricity or electricity from other renewable sources decrease, our ability to offer competitive pricing in our residential lease program could be jeopardized because such decreases would make the purchase of our solar systems or the purchase of energy under our lease and power purchase agreements less economically attractive.

Our leases are third-party ownership arrangements. Sales of electricity by third parties face regulatory challenges in some states and jurisdictions. Other challenges pertain to whether third-party owned systems qualify for the same levels of rebates or other non-tax incentives available for customer-owned solar energy systems. Reductions in, or eliminations of, this treatment of these third-party arrangements could reduce demand for our residential lease program. As we look to extend the third party ownership model outside of the United States, we will be faced with the same risks and uncertainties we have in the United States. Our growth outside of the United States could depend on our ability to expand the third party ownership model, and our failure to successfully implement a third-party ownership model globally could adversely affect our financial results.

We act as the general contractor for many of our customers in connection with the installations of our solar power systems and are subject to risks associated with construction, cost overruns, delays and other contingencies tied to performance bonds and letters of credit, or other required credit and liquidity support guarantees, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
 
We act as the general contractor for many of our customers in connection with the installation of our solar power systems. Some customers require performance bonds issued by a bonding agency or letters of credit issued by financial institutions, or may require other forms of liquidity support. Due to the general performance risk inherent in construction activities, it has become increasingly difficult recently to attain suitable bonding agencies willing to provide performance bonding. Obtaining letters of credit may require collateral. In the event we are unable to obtain bonding or sufficient letters of credit or other liquidity support, we will be unable to bid on, or enter into, sales contracts requiring such bonding.

Almost all of our EPC contracts are fixed price contracts. We attempt to estimate all essential costs at the time of entering into the EPC contract for a particular project, and these are reflected in the overall price that we charge our customers for the project. These cost estimates are preliminary and may or may not be covered by contracts between us or the subcontractors, suppliers, and any other parties that may become necessary to complete the project. In addition, we require qualified, licensed subcontractors to install most of our systems. Thus, if the cost of materials or skilled labor were to rise dramatically, or if financing costs were to increase, our operating results could be adversely affected.

In addition, the contracts with some of our larger customers require that we would be obligated to pay substantial penalty payments for each day or other period a solar installation for any such customer is not completed beyond an agreed target date, up to and including the return of the entire project sale price. This is particularly true in Europe, where long-term, fixed feed-in

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tariffs available to investors are typically set during a prescribed period of project completion, but the fixed amount declines over time for projects completed in subsequent periods. We face material financial penalties in the event we fail to meet the completion deadlines, including but not limited a full refund of the contract price paid by the customers. In certain cases we do not control all of the events which could give rise to these penalties, such as reliance on the local utility to timely complete electrical substation construction.
 
Furthermore, investors often require that the solar power system generate specified levels of electricity in order to maintain their investment returns, allocating substantial risk and financial penalties to us if those levels are not achieved, up to and including the return of the entire project sale price. Also, our customers often require protections in the form of conditional payments, payment retentions or holdbacks, and similar arrangements that condition its future payments on performance. Delays in solar panel or other supply shipments, other construction delays, unexpected performance problems in electricity generation or other events could cause us to fail to meet these performance criteria, resulting in unanticipated and severe revenue and earnings losses and financial penalties. Construction delays are often caused by inclement weather, failure to timely receive necessary approvals and permits, or delays in obtaining necessary solar panels, inverters or other materials. Additionally, we sometimes purchase land in connection with project development and assume the risk of project completion. All such risks could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
 
Acquisitions of other companies or investments in joint ventures with other companies could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations, and dilute our stockholders' equity.
 
To expand our business and maintain our competitive position, we have acquired a number of other companies and entered into several joint ventures over the past several years. For example, in July 2010, we formed AUOSP as a joint venture with AUO. In January 2012, we acquired Tenesol, and in November 2013, we acquired Greenbotics, Inc. In November 2014, we acquired SolarBridge Technologies, a developer of integrated microinverter technologies for the solar industry. In the future we may acquire additional companies, project pipelines, products or technologies or enter into joint ventures or other strategic initiatives, such as the potential joint venture YieldCo transaction described under "—Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—We may be unable to successfully form the previously announced YieldCo vehicle; the proposed initial public offering of the YieldCo vehicle may not occur on favorable terms or at all; and even if the proposed initial public offering is completed, we may not achieve the expected benefits."
 
Acquisitions and joint ventures involve a number of risks that could harm our business and result in the acquired business or joint venture not performing as expected, including:

insufficient experience with technologies and markets in which the acquired business or joint venture is involved, which may be necessary to successfully operate and/or integrate the business or the joint venture;

problems integrating the acquired operations, personnel, IT infrastructure, technologies or products with the existing business and products;

diversion of management time and attention from the core business to the acquired business or joint venture;

potential failure to retain or hire key technical, management, sales and other personnel of the acquired business or joint venture;

difficulties in retaining or building relationships with suppliers and customers of the acquired business or joint venture, particularly where such customers or suppliers compete with us;

potential failure of the due diligence processes to identify significant issues with product quality and development or legal and financial liabilities, among other things;

potential inability to obtain, or obtain in a timely manner, approvals from governmental authorities or work councils, which could delay or prevent acquisitions, delay our ability to achieve synergies, or our successful operation of acquired companies or joint ventures;

potential necessity to re-apply for permits of acquired projects;

problems managing joint ventures with our partners, meeting capital requirements for expansion, potential litigation with joint venture partners and reliance upon joint ventures which we do not control; for example, our ability to effectively manage our joint venture with AUO;

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subsequent impairment of the acquired assets, including intangible assets; and

assumption of liabilities including, but not limited to, lawsuits, tax examinations, warranty issues, and liabilities associated with compliance with laws (for example, the FCPA).

Additionally, we may decide that it is in our best interests to enter into acquisitions or joint ventures that are dilutive to earnings per share or that negatively impact margins as a whole. In an effort to reduce our cost of goods sold, we have and may continue to enter into acquisitions or joint ventures involving suppliers or manufacturing partners, which would expose us to additional supply chain risks. Acquisitions or joint ventures could also require investment of significant financial resources and require us to obtain additional equity financing, which may dilute our stockholders' equity, or require us to incur additional indebtedness. Such equity or debt financing may not be available on terms acceptable to us. In addition, we could in the future make additional investments in our joint ventures or guarantee certain financial obligations of our joint ventures, which could reduce our cash flows, increase our indebtedness and expose us to the credit risk of our joint ventures.
 
To the extent that we invest in upstream suppliers or downstream channel capabilities, we may experience competition or channel conflict with certain of our existing and potential suppliers and customers. Specifically, existing and potential suppliers and customers may perceive that we are competing directly with them by virtue of such investments and may decide to reduce or eliminate their supply volume to us or order volume from us. In particular, any supply reductions from our polysilicon, ingot or wafer suppliers could materially reduce manufacturing volume.
 
We may in the future be required to consolidate the assets, liabilities and financial results of certain of our existing or future joint ventures, which could have an adverse impact on our financial position, gross margin and operating results.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued accounting guidance regarding variable interest entities ("VIEs") that affects our accounting treatment of our existing and future joint ventures. We have variable interests in AUOSP, our joint venture with AUO. To ascertain whether we are required to consolidate this entity, we determine whether it is a VIE and if we are the primary beneficiary in accordance with the accounting guidance. Factors we consider in determining whether we are the VIE's primary beneficiary include the decision making authority of each partner, which partner manages the day-to-day operations of the joint venture and each partner's obligation to absorb losses or right to receive benefits from the joint venture in relation to that of the other partner. Changes in the financial accounting guidance, or changes in circumstances at each of these joint ventures, could lead us to determine that we have to consolidate the assets, liabilities and financial results of such joint ventures. The consolidation of AUOSP would significantly increase our indebtedness. Consolidation of our VIEs could have a material adverse impact on our financial position, gross margin and operating results. In addition, we may enter into future joint ventures or make other equity investments, which could have an adverse impact on us because of the financial accounting guidance regarding VIEs.

We may not be able to increase or sustain our recent growth rate, and we may not be able to manage our future growth effectively.

We may not be able to continue to expand our business or manage future growth. We plan to continue to improve our manufacturing processes and build additional cell manufacturing production over the next five years, beginning with an expected $300 million to $350 million in capital expenditures in fiscal 2015, which will require successful execution of:

expanding our existing manufacturing facilities and developing new manufacturing facilities, which would increase our fixed costs and, if such facilities are underutilized, would negatively impact our results of operations;

ensuring delivery of adequate polysilicon and ingots;

enhancing our customer resource management and manufacturing management systems;

implementing and improving additional and existing administrative, financial and operations systems, procedures and controls, including the need to centralize, update and integrate our global financial internal control;

hiring additional employees;

expanding and upgrading our technological capabilities;

managing multiple relationships with our customers, suppliers and other third parties;

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maintaining adequate liquidity and financial resources; and

continuing to increase our revenues from operations.

Improving our manufacturing processes, expanding our manufacturing facilities or developing new facilities may be delayed by difficulties such as unavailability of equipment or supplies or equipment malfunction. Ensuring delivery of adequate polysilicon and ingots is subject to many market risks including scarcity, significant price fluctuations and competition. Maintaining adequate liquidity is dependent upon a variety of factors including continued revenues from operations, working capital improvements, and compliance with our indentures and credit agreements. If we are unsuccessful in any of these areas, we may not be able to achieve our growth strategy and increase production capacity as planned during the foreseeable future. In addition, we need to manage our organizational growth, including rationalizing reporting structures, support teams, and enabling efficient decision making. For example, the administration of the residential lease program requires processes and systems to support this business model. If we are not successful or if we delay our continuing implementation of such systems and processes, we may adversely affect the anticipated volumes in our residential lease business. If we are unable to manage our growth effectively, we may not be able to take advantage of market opportunities, develop new solar cells and other products, satisfy customer requirements, execute our business plan or respond to competitive pressures.

Fluctuations in the demand for our products may cause impairment of our project assets and other long-lived assets or cause us to write off equipment or inventory, and each of these events would adversely affect our financial results.

We have tangible project assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets related to capitalized costs incurred in connection with the development of solar power systems. Project assets consist primarily of capitalized costs relating to solar power system projects in various stages of development that we incur prior to the sale of the solar power system to a third party. These costs include costs for land and costs for developing and constructing a solar power system. These project assets could become impaired if there are changes in the fair value of these capitalized costs. If these project assets become impaired, we may write-off some or all of the capitalized project assets, which would have an adverse impact on our financial results in the period in which the loss is recognized.

In addition, if the demand for our solar products decreases, our manufacturing capacity could be underutilized, and we may be required to record an impairment of our long-lived assets, including facilities and equipment, which would increase our expenses. In improving our manufacturing processes consistent with our cost reduction roadmap, we could write off equipment that is removed from the manufacturing process. In addition, if product demand decreases or we fail to forecast demand accurately, we could be required to write off inventory or record excess capacity charges, which would have a negative impact on our gross margin. Factory-planning decisions may shorten the useful lives of long-lived assets, including facilities and equipment, and cause us to accelerate depreciation. Each of the above events would adversely affect our future financial results.

Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates and interest rates could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
 
We have significant sales globally, and we are exposed to movements in foreign exchange rates, primarily related to sales to European customers that are denominated in Euros. A depreciation of the Euro would adversely affect our margins on sales to European customers. When foreign currencies appreciate against the U.S. dollar, inventories and expenses denominated in foreign currencies become more expensive. An increase in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies could make our solar power products more expensive for international customers, thus potentially leading to a reduction in demand, our sales and profitability. As a result, substantial unfavorable changes in foreign currency exchange rates could have a substantial adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Although we seek to reduce our currency exposure by engaging in hedging transactions where we deem it appropriate, we do not know whether our efforts will be successful. Because we hedge some of our expected future foreign exchange exposure, if associated revenues do not materialize, we could experience losses. In the past, we have experienced an adverse impact on our revenue, gross margin, cash position and profitability as a result of foreign currency fluctuations. In addition, any break-up of the Eurozone would disrupt our sales and supply chain, expose us to financial counterparty risk, and materially and adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
 
We are exposed to interest rate risk because many of our customers depend on debt financing to purchase our solar power systems. An increase in interest rates could make it difficult for our customers to obtain the financing necessary to purchase our solar power systems on favorable terms, or at all, and thus lower demand for our solar power products, reduce revenue and adversely affect our operating results. An increase in interest rates could lower a customer's return on investment in a system or make alternative investments more attractive relative to solar power systems, which, in each case, could cause our

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customers to seek alternative investments that promise higher returns or demand higher returns from our solar power systems, which could reduce our revenue and gross margin and adversely affect our operating results. Our interest expense would increase to the extent interest rates rise in connection with our variable interest rate borrowings. In addition, lower interest rates have an adverse impact on our interest income. See also "Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk" and "Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—The execution of our growth strategy is dependent upon the continued availability of third-party financing arrangements for our solar power plants, our residential lease program and our customers, and is affected by general economic conditions."
  
We depend on third-party contract manufacturers to assemble a portion of our solar cells into solar panels and any failure to obtain sufficient assembly and test capacity could significantly delay our ability to ship our solar panels and damage our customer relationships.
 
We outsource a portion of module manufacturing to contract manufacturers in the United States and China. As a result of outsourcing this final step in our production, we face several significant risks, including limited control over assembly and testing capacity, delivery schedules, quality assurance, manufacturing yields and production costs. If the operations of our third-party contract manufacturers were disrupted or their financial stability impaired, or if they were unable or unwilling to devote capacity to our solar panels in a timely manner, our business could suffer as we might be unable to produce finished solar panels on a timely basis. We also risk customer delays resulting from an inability to move module production to an alternate provider or to complete production internationally, and it may not be possible to obtain sufficient capacity or comparable production costs at another facility in a timely manner. In addition, migrating our design methodology to third-party contract manufacturers or to a captive panel assembly facility could involve increased costs, resources and development time, and utilizing additional third-party contract manufacturers could expose us to further risk of losing control over our intellectual property and the quality of our solar panels. Any reduction in the supply of solar panels could impair our revenue by significantly delaying our ability to ship products and potentially damage our relationships with new and existing customers, any of which could have a material and adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operation.

While we believe we currently have effective internal control over financial reporting, we may identify a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting that could cause investors to lose confidence in the reliability of our financial statements and result in a decrease in the value of our common stock.
 
Our management is responsible for maintaining internal control over financial reporting designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of consolidated financial statements for external purposes in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Management concluded that as of the end of each of fiscal 2014, 2013, and 2012, our internal control over financial reporting and our disclosure controls and procedures were effective.
 
We need to continuously maintain our internal control processes and systems and adapt them as our business grows and changes. This process is expensive, time-consuming and requires significant management attention. We cannot be certain that our internal control measures will continue to provide adequate control over our financial processes and reporting and ensure compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Furthermore, as we grow our business or acquire other businesses, our internal controls may become more complex and we may require significantly more resources to ensure they remain effective. Failure to implement required new or improved controls, or difficulties encountered in their implementation, either in our existing business or in businesses that we may acquire, could harm our operating results or cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations. If we or our independent registered public accounting firm identify material weaknesses in our internal controls, the disclosure of that fact, even if quickly remedied, may cause investors to lose confidence in our financial statements and the trading price of our common stock may decline.

Remediation of a material weakness could require us to incur significant expense and if we fail to remedy any material weakness, our financial statements may be inaccurate, our ability to report our financial results on a timely and accurate basis may be adversely affected, our access to the capital markets may be restricted, the trading price of our common stock may decline, and we may be subject to sanctions or investigation by regulatory authorities, including the SEC or The Nasdaq Global Select Market. We may also be required to restate our financial statements from prior periods.

Our agreements with Cypress Semiconductor Corporation ("Cypress") require us to indemnify Cypress for certain tax liabilities. These indemnification obligations and related contractual restrictions may limit our ability to pursue certain business initiatives.
 
On October 6, 2005, while a subsidiary of Cypress, our former parent company, we entered into a tax sharing agreement with Cypress providing for each party's obligations concerning various tax liabilities. The tax sharing agreement is structured such that Cypress would pay all federal, state, local and foreign taxes that are calculated on a consolidated or combined basis

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while we were a member of Cypress's consolidated or combined group for federal, state, local and foreign tax purposes. Our portion of tax liabilities or benefits was determined based upon our separate return tax liability as defined under the tax sharing agreement. These tax liabilities or benefits were based on a pro forma calculation as if we were filing a separate income tax return in each jurisdiction, rather than on a combined or consolidated basis, subject to adjustments as set forth in the tax sharing agreement.
 
On June 6, 2006, we ceased to be a member of Cypress's consolidated group for federal income tax purposes and certain state income tax purposes. On September 29, 2008, we ceased to be a member of Cypress's combined group for all state income tax purposes. To the extent that we become entitled to utilize our separate portion of any tax credit or loss carryforwards existing as of such date, we will distribute to Cypress the tax effect, estimated to be 40% for federal and state income tax purposes, of the amount of such tax loss carryforwards so utilized, and the amount of any credit carryforwards so utilized. We will distribute these amounts to Cypress in cash or in our shares, at Cypress's option. During fiscal 2013, we recorded an estimated $3.3 million of liabilities due under this arrangement and the actual amount payable to Cypress based upon filing of the 2013 California tax return was approximately $0.2 million. Related to fiscal 2014, we recorded an estimated liability to Cypress of $0.7 million. As of December 28, 2014, we have a potential future liability of approximately $3.7 million.

We are jointly and severally liable for any tax liability during all periods in which we were deemed to be a member of the Cypress consolidated or combined group. Accordingly, although the tax sharing agreement allocates tax liabilities between Cypress and all its consolidated subsidiaries, for any period in which we were included in Cypress's consolidated or combined group, we could be liable in the event that any federal or state tax liability was incurred, but not discharged, by any other member of the group.
 
We will continue to be jointly and severally liable to Cypress until the statute of limitations runs or all appeal options are exercised for all years in which we joined in the filing of tax returns with Cypress. If Cypress experiences adjustments to their tax liability pursuant to tax examinations, we may incur an incremental liability.
  
We would also be liable to Cypress for taxes that might arise from the distribution by Cypress of our former class B common stock to Cypress's stockholders on September 29, 2008, or "spin-off." In connection with Cypress's spin-off of our former class B common stock, we and Cypress, on August 12, 2008, entered into an amendment to our tax sharing agreement ("Amended Tax Sharing Agreement") to address certain transactions that may affect the tax treatment of the spin-off and certain other matters.
 
Subject to certain caveats, Cypress obtained a ruling from the IRS to the effect that the distribution by Cypress of our former class B common stock to Cypress's stockholders qualified as a tax-free distribution under Section 355 of the Internal Revenue Code ("Code"). Despite such ruling, the distribution may nonetheless be taxable to Cypress under Section 355(e) of the Code if 50% or more of the voting power or value of our stock was or is later acquired as part of a plan or series of related transactions that included the distribution of our stock. The Amended Tax Sharing Agreement requires us to indemnify Cypress for any liability incurred as a result of issuances or dispositions of our stock after the distribution, other than liability attributable to certain dispositions of our stock by Cypress, that cause Cypress's distribution of shares of our stock to its stockholders to be taxable to Cypress under Section 355(e) of the Code. 
 
Under the Amended Tax Sharing Agreement, we also agreed that, until October 29, 2010, we would not effect a conversion of any or all of our former class B common stock to former class A common stock or any similar recapitalization transaction or series of related transactions (a "Recapitalization"). On November 16, 2011, we reclassified our former class A common stock and class B common stock into a single class of common stock. In the event this reclassification does result in the spin-off being treated as taxable, we could face substantial liabilities as a result of our obligations under the Amended Tax Sharing Agreement.

Any future agreements with Total S.A. regarding tax indemnification and certain tax liabilities may adversely affect our financial position.

We currently believe that we will not join in tax filings on a consolidated, combined or unitary basis with Total S.A. Accordingly, no tax sharing arrangement is currently in place. If we and Total join in a tax filing in the future, a tax sharing agreement will be required, which would allocate the tax liabilities among the parties and may adversely affect our financial position.
  
Our headquarters and manufacturing facilities, as well as the facilities of certain subcontractors and suppliers, are located in regions that are subject to earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters, and climate change and climate change regulation could have an adverse effect on our operations.

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Our headquarters and research and development operations are located in California, and our manufacturing facilities are located in the Philippines, France, South Africa and Mexico. The facilities of our joint venture for manufacturing are located in Malaysia. Any significant earthquake, flood or other natural disaster in these countries or countries where our suppliers are located could materially disrupt our management operations and/or our production capabilities, and could result in our experiencing a significant delay in delivery, or substantial shortage, of our products and services.
 
In addition, legislators, regulators, and non-governmental organizations, as well as companies in many business sectors, are considering ways to reduce green-house gas emissions. Further regulation could be forthcoming at the federal or state level with respect to green-house gas emissions. Such regulation or similar regulations in other countries could result in regulatory or product standard requirements for our global business, including our manufacturing operations. Furthermore, the potential physical impacts of climate change on our operations may include changes in weather patterns (including floods, tsunamis, drought and rainfall levels), water availability, storm patterns and intensities, and temperature levels. These potential physical effects may adversely affect the cost, production, sales and financial performance of our operations.
 
We could be adversely affected by any violations of the U.S. FCPA and foreign anti-bribery laws.
 
The U.S. FCPA generally prohibits companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments to non-U.S. government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. Other countries in which we operate also have anti-bribery laws, some of which prohibit improper payments to government and non-government persons and entities. Our policies mandate compliance with these anti-bribery laws. We continue to acquire businesses outside of the United States and operate in many parts of the world that have experienced governmental corruption to some degree and, in certain circumstances, strict compliance with anti-bribery laws may conflict with local customs and practices. In addition, due to the level of regulation in our industry, our entry into new jurisdictions through internal growth or acquisitions requires substantial government contact where norms can differ from U.S. standards. While we implement policies and procedures and conduct training designed to facilitate compliance with these anti-bribery laws, thereby mitigating the risk of violations of such laws, our employees, subcontractors and agents may take actions in violation of our policies and anti-bribery laws. Any such violation, even if prohibited by our policies, could subject us to criminal or civil penalties or other sanctions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, cash flows and reputation.
 
We sell our solar products to agencies of the U.S. government, and as a result, we are subject to a number of procurement rules and regulations, and our business could be adversely affected by an audit by the U.S. government if it were to identify errors or a failure to comply with regulations.
 
We have sold and continue to sell our solar power systems to various U.S. government agencies. In connection with these contracts, we must comply with and are affected by laws and regulations relating to the award, administration, and performance of U.S. government contracts, which may impose added costs on our business. We are expected to perform in compliance with a vast array of federal laws and regulations, including, without limitation, the Federal Acquisition Regulation, the Truth in Negotiations Act, the Federal False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Act of 1986, the Trade Agreements Act, the Buy American Act, the Procurement Integrity Act, and the Davis Bacon Act. A violation of specific laws and regulations, even if prohibited by our policies, could result in the imposition of fines and penalties, reductions of the value of our contracts, contract modifications or termination, or suspension or debarment from government contracting for a period of time.
 
In some instances, these laws and regulations impose terms or rights that are more favorable to the government than those typically available to commercial parties in negotiated transactions. For example, the U.S. government may terminate any of our government contracts either at its convenience or for default based on performance. A termination arising out of our default may expose us to liability and have a material adverse effect on our ability to compete for future contracts.
 
U.S. government agencies may audit and investigate government contractors. These agencies review a contractor's performance under its contracts, cost structure, and compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and standards. If an audit or investigation uncovers improper or illegal activities, we may be subject to civil or criminal penalties and administrative sanctions, including termination of contracts, forfeiture of profits, suspension of payments, fines, and suspension or prohibition from doing business with the U.S. government. In addition, we could suffer reputational harm if allegations of impropriety were made against us.
 
Compliance with environmental regulations can be expensive, and noncompliance with these regulations may result in adverse publicity and potentially significant monetary damages and fines.
 

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We are required to comply with all foreign, U.S. federal, state and local laws and regulations regarding pollution control and protection of the environment. In addition, under some statutes and regulations, a government agency, or other parties, may seek recovery and response costs from operators of property where releases of hazardous substances have occurred or are ongoing, even if the operator was not responsible for such release or otherwise at fault. We use, generate and discharge toxic, volatile and otherwise hazardous chemicals and wastes in our research and development and manufacturing activities. Any failure by us to control the use of, or to restrict adequately the discharge of, hazardous substances could subject us to potentially significant monetary damages and fines or suspensions in our business operations. In addition, if more stringent laws and regulations are adopted in the future, the costs of compliance with these new laws and regulations could be substantial. To date such laws and regulations have not had a significant impact on our operations, and we believe that we have all necessary permits to conduct operations as they are presently conducted. If we fail to comply with present or future environmental laws and regulations, however, we may be required to pay substantial fines, suspend production or cease operations.
 
In addition, new U.S. legislation includes disclosure requirements regarding the use of "conflict" minerals mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries and procedures regarding a manufacturer's efforts to prevent the sourcing of such "conflict" minerals. The implementation of these requirements could affect the sourcing and availability of minerals used in the manufacture of solar products. As a result, there may only be a limited pool of suppliers who provide conflict free minerals, and we cannot be certain that we will be able to obtain products in sufficient quantities or at competitive prices. Also, since our supply chain is complex, we may face reputational challenges with our customers and other stakeholders if we are unable to sufficiently verify the origins for all minerals used in our products.
 
Our success depends on the continuing contributions of our key personnel.
 
We rely heavily on the services of our key executive officers and the loss of services of any principal member of our management team could adversely affect our operations. In addition, we anticipate that we will need to hire a number of highly skilled technical, manufacturing, sales, marketing, administrative and accounting personnel. Due to the current economic environment, we have conducted several restructurings, which may negatively affect our ability to execute our strategy and business model. The competition for qualified personnel is intense in our industry. We may not be successful in attracting and retaining sufficient numbers of qualified personnel to support our anticipated growth. We cannot guarantee that any employee will remain employed with us for any definite period of time since all of our employees, including our key executive officers, serve at-will and may terminate their employment at any time for any reason.

Our insurance for certain indemnities we have made to our officers and directors may be inadequate, and potential claims could materially and negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.

Pursuant to our certificate of incorporation, by-laws and certain indemnification agreements, we indemnify our officers and directors for certain liabilities that may arise in the course of their service to us. Although we currently maintain directors and officers liability insurance for certain potential third-party claims for which we are legally or financially unable to indemnify them, such insurance may be inadequate to cover certain claims. In addition, in previous years, we have primarily self-insured with respect to potential third-party claims. If we were required to pay a significant amount on account of these liabilities for which we self-insured, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially harmed.

Risks Related to Our Intellectual Property

We depend on our intellectual property, and we may face intellectual property infringement claims that could be time-consuming and costly to defend and could result in the loss of significant rights.

From time to time, we, our respective customers, or third parties with whom we work may receive letters, including letters from various industry participants, alleging infringement of their patents. At present, we face a third-party complaint alleging patent infringement which was filed, but not served, against SolarBridge Technology LLC. our wholly owned subsidiary, in October 2014. Additionally, we are required by contract to indemnify some of our customers and our third-party intellectual property providers for certain costs and damages of patent infringement in circumstances where our products are a factor creating the customer's or these third-party providers' infringement liability. This practice may subject us to significant indemnification claims by our customers and our third-party providers. We cannot assure investors that indemnification claims will not be made or that these claims will not harm our business, operating results or financial condition. Intellectual property litigation is very expensive and time-consuming and could divert management's attention from our business and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition. If there is a successful claim of infringement against us, our customers or our third-party intellectual property providers, we may be required to pay substantial damages to the party claiming infringement, stop selling products or using technology that contains the allegedly infringing intellectual property, or enter into royalty or license agreements that may not be available on acceptable terms, if at all. Parties making

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infringement claims may also be able to bring an action before the International Trade Commission that could result in an order stopping the importation into the United States of our solar products. Any of these judgments could materially damage our business. We may have to develop non-infringing technology, and our failure in doing so or in obtaining licenses to the proprietary rights on a timely basis could have a material adverse effect on our business.

We have filed, and may continue to file, claims against other parties for infringing our intellectual property that may be very costly and may not be resolved in our favor.

To protect our intellectual property rights and to maintain our competitive advantage, we have filed and may continue to file suits against parties who we believe infringe our intellectual property. Intellectual property litigation is expensive and time consuming and could divert management's attention from our business and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results or financial condition, and our enforcement efforts may not be successful. In addition, the validity of our patents may be challenged in such litigation. Our participation in intellectual property enforcement actions may negatively impact our financial results.

We rely substantially upon trade secret laws and contractual restrictions to protect our proprietary rights, and, if these rights are not sufficiently protected, our ability to compete and generate revenue could suffer.

We seek to protect our proprietary manufacturing processes, documentation and other written materials primarily under trade secret and copyright laws. We also typically require employees, consultants, and third parties such as our vendors and customers, with access to our proprietary information to execute confidentiality agreements. The steps taken by us to protect our proprietary information may not be adequate to prevent misappropriation of our technology. Our systems may be subject to intrusions, security breaches, or targeted theft of our trade secrets. In addition, our proprietary rights may not be adequately protected because:

people may not be deterred from misappropriating our technologies despite the existence of laws or contracts prohibiting it;

policing unauthorized use of our intellectual property may be difficult, expensive and time-consuming, the remedy obtained may be inadequate to restore protection of our intellectual property, and moreover, we may be unable to determine the extent of any unauthorized use;

the laws of other countries in which we market our solar products, such as some countries in the Asia/Pacific region, may offer little or no protection for our proprietary technologies; and

reports we file in connection with government-sponsored research contracts are generally available to the public and third parties may obtain some aspects of our sensitive confidential information.

Reverse engineering, unauthorized copying or other misappropriation of our proprietary technologies could enable third parties to benefit from our technologies without compensating us for doing so. We also have formed the joint venture to manufacture our solar cells at AUOSP, and formed a joint venture company with partners in China to commercialize our C7 Tracker technology. Our joint ventures or our partners may not be deterred from misappropriating our proprietary technologies despite contractual and other legal restrictions. Legal protection in countries where our joint ventures are located may not be robust and enforcement by us of our intellectual property rights may be difficult. As a result, our joint ventures or our partners could directly compete with our business. Any such activities or any other inabilities to adequately protect our proprietary rights could harm our ability to compete, to generate revenue and to grow our business.

We may not obtain sufficient patent protection on the technology embodied in the solar products we currently manufacture and market, which could harm our competitive position and increase our expenses.

Although we substantially rely on trade secret laws and contractual restrictions to protect the technology in the solar products we currently manufacture and market, our success and ability to compete in the future may also depend to a significant degree upon obtaining patent protection for our proprietary technology. We currently own multiple patents and patent applications which cover aspects of the technology in the solar cells and mounting systems that we currently manufacture and market. Material patents that relate to our systems products and services primarily relate to our rooftop mounting products and ground-mounted tracking products. We intend to continue to seek patent protection for those aspects of our technology, designs, and methodologies and processes that we believe provide significant competitive advantages.


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Our patent applications may not result in issued patents, and even if they result in issued patents, the patents may not have claims of the scope we seek or we may have to refile patent applications due to newly discovered prior art. In addition, any issued patents may be challenged, invalidated, or declared unenforceable, or even if we obtain an award of damages for infringement by a third party, such award could prove insufficient to compensate for all damages incurred as a result of such infringement.

The earliest term of any issued patents would be 20 years from their earliest priority date and if our applications are pending for a long time period, we may have a correspondingly shorter term for any patent that may issue. Our present and future patents may provide only limited protection for our technology and may be insufficient to provide competitive advantages to us. For example, competitors could develop similar or more advantageous technologies on their own or design around our patents. Also, patent protection in certain foreign countries may not be available or may be limited in scope and any patents obtained may not be readily enforceable because of insufficient judicial effectiveness, making it difficult for us to aggressively protect our intellectual property from misuse or infringement by other companies in these countries. Our inability to obtain and enforce our intellectual property rights in some countries may harm our business. In addition, given the costs of obtaining patent protection, we may choose not to protect certain innovations that later turn out to be important.

We may not be able to prevent others from using the term SunPower or similar terms in connection with their solar power products which could adversely affect the market recognition of our name and our revenue.

"SunPower" and the "SunPower" logo are our registered trademark in certain countries, including the United States, for uses that include solar cells and solar panels. We are seeking registration of the "SunPower" trademark in other countries but we may not be successful in some of these jurisdictions. We hold registered trademarks for SunPower®, SunPower Electric®, Maxeon®, Oasis®, PowerGuard®, PowerLight®, Serengeti®, and SunTile®, in certain countries, including the United States. We have not registered, and may not be able to register, these trademarks in other key countries. In the foreign jurisdictions where we are unable to obtain or have not tried to obtain registrations, others may be able to sell their products using trademarks compromising or incorporating "SunPower," or a variation thereof, or our other chosen brands, which could lead to customer confusion. In addition, if there are jurisdictions where another proprietor has already established trademark rights in marks containing "SunPower," or our other chosen brands, we may face trademark disputes and may have to market our products with other trademarks or without our trademarks, which may undermine our marketing efforts. We may encounter trademark disputes with companies using marks which are confusingly similar to the SunPower mark, or our other marks, which if not resolved favorably, could cause our branding efforts to suffer. In addition, we may have difficulty in establishing strong brand recognition with consumers if others use similar marks for similar products.
 
Our past and possible future reliance on government programs to partially fund our research and development programs could impair our ability to commercialize our solar power products and services.

Government funding of some of our research and development efforts imposed certain restrictions on our ability to commercialize results and could grant commercialization rights to the government. In some funding awards, the government is entitled to intellectual property rights arising from the related research. Such rights include a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice or have practiced each subject invention developed under an award throughout the world by or on behalf of the government. Other rights include the right to require us to grant a license to the developed technology or products to a third party or, in some cases, if we refuse, the government may grant the license itself, if the government determines that action is necessary because we fail to achieve practical application of the technology, because action is necessary to alleviate health or safety needs, to meet requirements of federal regulations, or to give the United States industry preference. Accepting government funding can also require that manufacturing of products developed with federal funding be conducted in the United States.

We may be subject to information technology system failures or network disruptions that could damage our business operations, financial conditions, or reputation.

We may be subject to information technology system failures and network disruptions. These may be caused by natural disasters, accidents, power disruptions, telecommunications failures, acts of terrorism or war, computer viruses, physical or electronic break-ins, or similar events or disruptions. System redundancy may be ineffective or inadequate, and our disaster recovery planning may not be sufficient for all eventualities. Such failures or disruptions could result in delayed or canceled orders. System failures and disruptions could also impede the manufacturing and shipping of products, delivery of online services, transactions processing, and financial reporting.


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We may be subject to breaches of our information technology systems, which could lead to disclosure of our internal information, or could damage our reputation or relationships with dealers and customers, or could disrupt access to our online services. Such breaches could subject us to significant reputational, financial, legal, and operational consequences.

Our business requires us to use and store customer, employee, and business partner personally identifiable information ("PII"). This may include names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, contact preferences, tax identification numbers, and payment account information. Malicious attacks to gain access to PII affect many companies across various industries, including ours.

We use encryption and authentication technologies to secure the transmission and storage of data. These security measures may be compromised as a result of third-party security breaches, employee error, malfeasance, faulty password management, or other irregularity, and result in persons obtaining unauthorized access to our data. Third parties may attempt to fraudulently induce employees or customers into disclosing passwords or other sensitive information, which may in turn be used to access our information technology systems.

We devote resources to network security, data encryption, and other security measures to protect our systems and data, but these security measures cannot provide absolute security. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently and may be difficult to detect for long periods of time, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or implement adequate preventative measures. In addition, hardware, software, or applications we develop or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture or other problems that could unexpectedly compromise information security. Unauthorized parties may also attempt to gain access to our systems or facilities through fraud, trickery or other forms of deceiving our team members, contractors and temporary staff. If we experience a significant data security breach or fail to detect and appropriately respond to a significant data security breach, we could be exposed to a risk of loss, litigation and possible liability, or government enforcement actions, any of which could detrimentally affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

PII may also be shared with contractors and third-party providers to conduct our business. Although such contractors and third-party providers typically implement encryption and authentication technologies to secure the transmission and storage of data, those third-party providers may experience a significant data security breach of the shared PII.

Our business is subject to a variety of U.S. and international laws, rules, policies and other obligations regarding privacy, data protection, and other matters.

We are subject to federal, state and international laws relating to the collection, use, retention, security and transfer of PII. In many cases, these laws apply not only to third-party transactions, but also to transfers of information between one company and its subsidiaries, and among the subsidiaries and other parties with which we have commercial relations. The introduction of new products or expansion of our activities in certain jurisdictions may subject us to additional laws and regulations. In addition, foreign data protection, privacy, and other laws and regulations can be more restrictive than those in the United States. These U.S. federal and state and foreign laws and regulations, which can be enforced by private parties or government entities, are constantly evolving and can be subject to significant change. In addition, the application and interpretation of these laws and regulations are often uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly evolving industry in which we operate, and may be interpreted and applied inconsistently from country to country and inconsistently with our current policies and practices. These existing and proposed laws and regulations can be costly to comply with and can delay or impede the development of new products, result in negative publicity, increase our operating costs, require significant management time and attention, and subject us to inquiries or investigations, claims or other remedies, including fines or demands that we modify or cease existing business practices.

A failure by us, our suppliers or other parties with whom we do business to comply with a posted privacy policies or with other federal, state or international privacy-related or data protection laws and regulations could result in proceedings against us by governmental entities or others, which could have a detrimental effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Risks Related to Our Debt and Equity Securities

Our debentures are effectively subordinated to our existing and any future secured indebtedness and structurally subordinated to existing and future liabilities and other indebtedness of our current and any future subsidiaries.

Our debentures are general, unsecured obligations and rank equally in right of payment with all of our existing and any future unsubordinated, unsecured indebtedness. Our debentures are effectively subordinated to our existing and any future

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secured indebtedness we may have, including for example, our $250.0 million revolving credit facility with Credit Agricole and our $47.5 million in principal amount of outstanding debt owed to International Finance Corporation, to the extent of the value of the assets securing such indebtedness, and structurally subordinated to our existing and any future liabilities and other indebtedness of our subsidiaries. These liabilities may include indebtedness, trade payables, guarantees, lease obligations and letter of credit obligations. Our debentures do not restrict us or our current or any future subsidiaries from incurring indebtedness, including senior secured indebtedness, in the future, nor do they limit the amount of indebtedness we can issue that is equal in right of payment.

Recent regulatory actions may adversely affect the trading price and liquidity of our debentures.

We believe that many investors in our debentures employ, or will seek to employ, a convertible arbitrage strategy with respect to our debentures. Investors that employ a convertible arbitrage strategy with respect to convertible debt instruments typically implement that strategy by selling short the common stock underlying the convertible debt instruments and dynamically adjusting their short position while they hold the debt instruments. Investors may also implement this strategy by entering into swaps on the common stock underlying the convertible debt instruments in lieu of or in addition to short selling the common stock. As a result, any specific rules regulating equity swaps or short selling of securities or other governmental action that interferes with the ability of market participants to effect short sales or equity swaps with respect to our common stock could adversely affect the ability of investors in our debentures to conduct the convertible arbitrage strategy that we believe they employ, or will seek to employ, with respect to our debentures. This could, in turn, adversely affect the trading price and liquidity of our debentures.

The SEC and other regulatory and self-regulatory authorities have implemented various rules and may adopt additional rules in the future that may impact those engaging in short selling activity involving equity securities (including our common stock). In particular, Rule 201 of SEC Regulation SHO generally restricts short selling when the price of a "covered security" triggers a "circuit breaker" by falling 10% or more from the security's closing price as of the end of regular trading hours on the prior day. If this circuit breaker is triggered, short sale orders can be displayed or executed for the remainder of that day and the following day only if the order price is above the then-current national best bid, subject to certain limited exceptions. Because our common stock is a "covered security", these Rule 201 restrictions, if triggered, may interfere with the ability of investors in our debentures to effect short sales in our common stock and conduct a convertible arbitrage strategy.

In addition, during 2013 the SEC approved two proposals submitted by the national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. ("FINRA") concerning extraordinary market volatility that may impact the ability of investors to effect a convertible arbitrage strategy. One initiative is the "Limit Up-Limit Down" plan, which requires securities exchanges, alternative trading systems, broker-dealers and other trading centers to establish policies and procedures that prevent the execution of trades or the display of bids or offers outside of specified price bands. If the bid or offer quotations for a security are at the far limit of the price band for more than 15 seconds, trading in that security will be subject to a five-minute trading pause. The Limit Up-Limit Down plan became effective, on a one-year pilot basis, on April 8, 2013 and was later extended through October 23, 2015.

The second initiative revised existing stock exchange and FINRA rules that establish the market-wide circuit breaker system. The market-wide circuit breaker system provides for specified market-wide halts in trading of stock for certain periods following specified market declines. The recent changes lowered the percentage-decline thresholds for triggering a market-wide trading halt and shortened the amount of time that trading is halted. Market declines under the new system are measured based on a decline in the S&P 500 Index compared to the prior day's closing value rather than a decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average compared to the prior quarterly closing value. The changes to the market-wide circuit breaker system became effective, on a one-year pilot basis, on April 8, 2013 and were later extended through October 23, 2015. The potential restrictions on trading imposed by the Limit Up-Limit Down plan and the market-wide circuit breaker system may interfere with the ability of investors in our debentures to effect short sales in our common stock and conduct a convertible arbitrage strategy.

The enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or the Dodd-Frank Act, on July 21, 2010 also introduced regulatory uncertainty that may impact trading activities relevant to our debentures. As a result of this legislation, certain interest rate swaps and credit default swaps are currently required to be cleared through regulated clearinghouses. Certain other swaps and security-based swaps are likely going to be required to be cleared through regulated clearinghouses in the future. In addition, certain swaps and security-based swaps will be required to be traded on exchanges or comparable trading facilities. Furthermore, swap dealers, security-based swap dealers, major swap participants and major security-based swap participants will be required to comply with margin and capital requirements. In addition, certain market participants are required to comply with public reporting requirements to provide transaction and pricing data on both cleared and uncleared swaps. Public reporting requirements will also apply with respect to security-based swaps in the future. These

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requirements could adversely affect the ability of investors in our debentures to maintain a convertible arbitrage strategy with respect to our debentures (including increasing the costs incurred by such investors in implementing such strategy). This could, in turn, adversely affect the trading price and liquidity of our debentures. Although some of the implementing rules have been adopted and are currently effective, we cannot predict how the SEC and other regulators will ultimately implement the legislation or the magnitude of the effect that this legislation will have on the trading price or liquidity of our debentures.

Although the direction and magnitude of the effect that the amendments to Regulation SHO, FINRA and securities exchange rule changes and/or implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act may have on the trading price and the liquidity of our debentures will depend on a variety of factors, many of which cannot be determined at this time, past regulatory actions have had a significant impact on the trading prices and liquidity of convertible debentures. For example, between July 2008 and September 2008, the SEC issued a series of emergency orders placing restrictions on the short sale of the common stock of certain financial services companies. The orders made the convertible arbitrage strategy that many convertible debentures employ difficult to execute and adversely affected both the liquidity and trading price of convertible debentures issued by many of the financial services companies subject to the prohibition. Any governmental action that similarly restricts the ability of investors in our debentures to effect short sales of our common stock, including the amendments to Regulation SHO, FINRA and exchange rule changes and the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, could similarly adversely affect the trading price and the liquidity of our debentures.

Total's majority ownership of our common stock may adversely affect the liquidity and value of our common stock.

As of December 28, 2014, Total owned approximately 60% of our outstanding common stock. Pursuant to the Affiliation Agreement between us and Total, the Board of Directors of SunPower includes five designees from Total, giving Total majority control of our Board. As a result, subject to the restrictions in the Affiliation Agreement, Total possesses significant influence and control over our affairs. Our non-Total stockholders have reduced ownership and voting interest in our company and, as a result, have less influence over the management and policies of our company than they exercised prior to Total's tender offer. As long as Total controls us, the ability of our other stockholders to influence matters requiring stockholder approval is limited. Total's stock ownership and relationships with members of our Board of Directors could have the effect of preventing minority stockholders from exercising significant control over our affairs, delaying or preventing a future change in control, impeding a merger, consolidation, takeover or other business combination or discouraging a potential acquirer from making a tender offer or otherwise attempting to obtain control of us, limiting our financing options. These factors in turn could adversely affect the market price of our common stock or prevent our stockholders from realizing a premium over the market price of our common stock. The Affiliation Agreement limits Total and any member of the Total affiliated companies ("Total Group") from effecting, seeking, or entering into discussions with any third party regarding any transaction that would result in the Total Group beneficially owning our shares in excess of certain thresholds during a standstill period. The Affiliation Agreement also imposes certain limitations on the Total Group's ability to seek to affect a tender offer or merger to acquire 100% of our outstanding voting power. Such provisions may not be successful in preventing the Total Group from engaging in transactions which further increase their ownership and negatively impact the price of our common stock. See also "—Risks Related to Our Liquidity—We may be unable to generate sufficient cash flows or obtain access to external financing necessary to fund our operations and make adequate capital investments as planned due to the general economic environment and the continued market pressure driving down the average selling prices of our solar power products, among other factors." Finally, the market for our common stock has become less liquid and more thinly traded as a result of the Total tender offer. The lower number of shares available to be traded could result in greater volatility in the price of our common stock and affect our ability to raise capital on favorable terms in the capital markets.
 
Conversion of our outstanding 0.75% debentures, 0.875% debentures, our warrants related to our outstanding 4.50% debentures, and future substantial issuances or dispositions of our common stock or other securities, could dilute ownership and earnings per share or cause the market price of our stock to decrease.
 
To the extent we issue common stock upon conversion of our outstanding 0.75% or 0.875% debentures, the conversion of some or all of such debentures will dilute the ownership interests of existing stockholders, including holders who had previously converted their debentures. Any sales in the public market of the common stock issuable upon such conversion could adversely affect prevailing market prices of our common stock. Sales of our common stock in the public market or sales of any of our other securities could dilute ownership and earnings per share, and even the perception that such sales could occur could cause the market prices of our common stock to decline. In addition, the existence of our outstanding debentures may encourage short selling of our common stock by market participants who expect that the conversion of the debentures could depress the prices of our common stock.
 
We issued warrants to affiliates of the underwriters of our 4.50% debentures, which are exercisable for a total of approximately 11.1 million shares of our common stock. The warrants, together with certain convertible hedge transactions, are

42


meant to reduce our exposure upon potential conversion of our 4.50%. If the market price of our common stock exceeds the respective exercise prices of the warrants, such warrants will have a dilutive effect on our earnings per share, and could dilute the ownership interests for existing stockholders if exercised.
 
The price of our common stock, and therefore of our outstanding 0.75%, 0.875% and 4.50% debentures, may fluctuate significantly.
 
Our common stock has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations. The trading price of our common stock could be subject to further wide fluctuations due to many factors, including the factors discussed in this risk factors section. In addition, the stock market in general, and the Nasdaq Global Select Market and the securities of technology companies and solar companies in particular, have experienced severe price and volume fluctuations. These trading prices and valuations, including our own market valuation and those of companies in our industry generally, may not be sustainable. These broad market and industry factors may decrease the market price of our common stock, regardless of our actual operating performance. Because the 0.75%, 0.875% and 4.50% debentures are convertible into our common stock (and/or cash equivalent to the value of our common stock), volatility or depressed prices of our common stock could have a similar effect on the trading price of these debentures.
 
Delaware law and our certificate of incorporation and by-laws contain anti-takeover provisions, our outstanding 0.75%, 0.875% and 4.50% debentures provide for a right to convert upon certain events, and our Board of Directors entered into a rights agreement and declared a rights dividend, any of which could delay or discourage takeover attempts that stockholders may consider favorable.
 
Provisions in our restated certificate of incorporation and by-laws may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change of control or changes in our management. These provisions include the following:

the right of the Board of Directors to elect a director to fill a vacancy created by the expansion of the Board of Directors;

the prohibition of cumulative voting in the election of directors, which would otherwise allow less than a majority of stockholders to elect director candidates;

the requirement for advance notice for nominations for election to the Board of Directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon at a stockholders' meeting;

the ability of the Board of Directors to issue, without stockholder approval, up to 10.0 million shares of preferred stock with terms set by the Board of Directors, which rights could be senior to those of common stock;

our Board of Directors is divided into three classes of directors, with the classes to be as nearly equal in number as possible;

stockholders may not call special meetings of the stockholders, except by Total under limited circumstances; and

our Board of Directors is able to alter our by-laws without obtaining stockholder approval.

Certain provisions of our outstanding debentures could make it more difficult or more expensive for a third party to acquire us. Upon the occurrence of certain transactions constituting a fundamental change, including an entity becoming the beneficial owner of 75% of our voting stock (such as Total), holders of our outstanding debentures will have the right, at their option, to require us to repurchase, at a cash repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest on the debentures, all or a portion of their debentures. We may also be required to issue additional shares of our common stock upon conversion of such debentures in the event of certain fundamental changes. In addition, we entered into a Rights Agreement with Computershare Trust Company, N.A., commonly referred to as a "poison pill," which could delay or discourage takeover attempts that stockholders may consider favorable.



43


ITEM 1B: UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2: PROPERTIES

The table below presents details for each of our principal properties:
Facility
 
Location
 
Approximate
Square
Footage
 
Held
 
Lease Term
Solar cell manufacturing facility1, 2
 
Philippines
 
215,000
 
Owned
 
n/a
Solar cell manufacturing facility1
 
Philippines
 
344,000
 
Owned
 
n/a
Solar module assembly facility1
 
Philippines
 
175,000
 
Owned
 
n/a
Solar module assembly facility
 
Mexico
 
320,000
 
Leased
 
2021
Solar module assembly facilities
 
France
 
11,600
 
Leased
 
2018
Corporate headquarters
 
California, U.S.
 
129,000
 
Leased
 
2021
European headquarters
 
Switzerland
 
3,929
 
Leased
 
2017
Global support offices
 
California, U.S.
 
142,000
 
Leased
 
2023
Global support offices
 
Texas, U.S.
 
69,000
 
Leased
 
2019
Global support offices
 
France
 
27,345
 
Leased
 
2023
1 
The lease for the underlying land expires in May 2048 and is renewable for an additional 25 years.
2 
This building will serve as an additional solar cell manufacturing facility with a planned annual capacity of 350 MW and is expected to be fully operational by in fiscal 2016, with initial production expected during fiscal 2015.

As of December 28, 2014, our principal properties include operating solar cell manufacturing facilities with a combined total annual capacity of over 1.5 GW and solar module assembly facilities with a combined total annual capacity of approximately 1.7 GW. For more information about our manufacturing capacity, including relationships with third-party contract manufacturers and our joint venture, AUOSP, see "Item 1. Business."

We do not identify or allocate assets by business segment. For more information on property, plant and equipment by country, see "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 5. Balance Sheet Components."

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Derivative Litigation

Derivative actions purporting to be brought on the Company's behalf were filed in state and federal courts against several of the Company's current and former officers and directors. The actions arose from the Audit Committee's investigation announcement on November 16, 2009 regarding certain unsubstantiated accounting entries. The California state derivative cases were consolidated as In re SunPower Corp. S'holder Derivative Litig., Lead Case No. 1-09-CV-158522 (Santa Clara Sup. Ct.), and co-lead counsel for plaintiffs were appointed. The complaints asserted state-law claims for breach of fiduciary duty, abuse of control, unjust enrichment, gross mismanagement, and waste of corporate assets. Plaintiffs filed a consolidated amended complaint on March 5, 2012. The federal derivative complaints were consolidated as In re SunPower Corp. S'holder Derivative Litig., Master File No. CV-09-05731-RS (N.D. Cal.), and lead plaintiffs and co-lead counsel were appointed on January 4, 2010. The federal complaints asserted state-law claims for breach of fiduciary duty, waste of corporate assets, and unjust enrichment, and seek an unspecified amount of damages. Plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint on May 13, 2011. A Delaware state derivative case, Brenner v. Albrecht, et al., C.A. No. 6514-VCP (Del Ch.), was filed on May 23, 2011 in the Delaware Court of Chancery. The complaint asserted state-law claims for breach of fiduciary duty and contribution and indemnification, and sought an unspecified amount of damages. On December 19, 2013, the parties executed a stipulated settlement agreement, providing that all claims against all defendants would be released and dismissed with prejudice, and that the Company would not oppose a request by the plaintiffs' counsel for an award of attorneys' fees up to $1 million, one half of which would be paid from the proceeds of directors and officers liability insurance. At a hearing on August 22, 2014, the Superior Court of California for Santa Clara County entered an order providing for final approval of the stipulated settlement and dismissing that action with prejudice. On September 9, 2014, the court in the consolidated federal derivative action

44


dismissed that action with prejudice. Those dismissals are now final. On October 22, 2014, the Delaware Chancery Court entered an order dismissing the Delaware derivative action with prejudice.

Tax Benefit Indemnification Litigation

On March 19, 2014, we received notice that a lawsuit had been filed by NRG Solar LLC ("NRG") against SunPower Corporation, Systems, our wholly-owned subsidiary ("SunPower Systems"), in the Superior Court of Contra Costa County, California.  The complaint asserts that, according to the indemnification provisions in the contract pertaining to SunPower Systems’ sale of a large California solar project to NRG, SunPower Systems owes NRG $75 million in connection with certain tax benefits associated with the project that were approved by the Treasury Department for an amount that was less than expected. We do not believe that the facts support NRG’s claim under the operative indemnification provisions and intend to vigorously contest the claim. On May 5, 2014, SunPower Systems filed a demurrer to NRG’s complaint.  The Court sustained the demurrer with leave to amend. NRG filed its amended complaint on September 3, 2014. SunPower Systems filed a demurrer to NRG's amended complaint, which the Court sustained, again, with leave to amend.  NRG filed its Second Amended Complaint on January 13, 2015.  SunPower Systems filed a demurrer to NRG’s Second Amended Complaint, which is scheduled to be heard on March 12, 2015.  The case currently is pending and no trial date or case schedule has been set yet.

First Philec Arbitration

On January 28, 2015, an arbitral tribunal of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce declared a binding partial award in the matter of an arbitration between First Philippine Electric Corporation ("FPEC") and First Philippine Solar Corporation ("FPSC") against SunPower Philippines Manufacturing, Ltd. ("SPML"), our wholly-owned subsidiary. FPSC is a joint venture of FPEC and SPML for the purpose of slicing silicon wafers from ingots. SPML has not purchased any wafers from FPSC since the third quarter of 2012.

The tribunal found SPML in breach of its obligations under its supply agreement with FPSC, and in breach of its joint venture agreement with FPEC. The tribunal ordered that (i) SPML must purchase FPEC’s interests in FPSC for an aggregate of $30.3 million, subject to adjustment to account for minority interests, and (ii) after completing the purchase of FPEC’s controlling interest in FPSC, to pay FPSC damages in the amount of $25.2 million. SPML’s purchase of FPEC’s interests in FPSC and the subsequent damages payment to FPSC have been suspended pending the parties’ agreement as to legal arrangements required to complete these transactions, but the transactions are presently scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2015.

As a result, as of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, we recorded an accrual of $63.0 million related to this case based on our best estimate of probable loss.

Other Litigation

We are a party to various other litigation matters and claims that arise from time to time in the ordinary course of our business. While we believe that the ultimate outcome of such matters will not have a material adverse effect on our business, their outcomes are not determinable and negative outcomes may adversely affect our financial position, liquidity or results of operations.


ITEM 4: MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.


45


PART II

ITEM 5: MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information

Our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the trading symbol "SPWR." During fiscal 2014 and 2013, the high and low trading prices of our common stock were as follows:
 
 
SPWR
 
 
High
 
Low
Fiscal Year 2014
 
 
 
 
Fourth quarter
 
$
35.64

 
$
23.06

Third quarter
 
$
40.98

 
$
32.92

Second quarter
 
$
41.06

 
$
26.53

First quarter
 
$
35.90

 
$
29.14

Fiscal Year 2013
 
 
 
 
Fourth quarter
 
$
34.39

 
$
26.16

Third quarter
 
$
28.10

 
$
20.58

Second quarter
 
$
22.70

 
$
9.41

First quarter
 
$
13.39

 
$
5.62


As of February 17, 2015, there were approximately 1,603 record holders. A substantially greater number of holders are in "street name" or beneficial holders, whose shares are held of record by banks, brokers, and other financial institutions.

Dividends

We have never declared or paid any cash dividend on our common stock, and we do not currently intend to pay a cash dividend on our common stock in the foreseeable future. Certain of the Company's debt agreements place restrictions on the Company and its subsidiaries' ability to pay cash dividends. For more information on our common stock and dividend rights, see "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 14. Common Stock."

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

The following table sets forth all purchases made by or on behalf of us or any "affiliated purchaser," as defined in Rule 10b-18(a)(3) under the Exchange Act, of shares of our common stock during each of the indicated periods.
Period
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased1
 
Average Price
Paid Per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
 
Maximum Number of Shares That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
September 29, 2014 through October 26, 2014
 
10,548

 
$
30.09

 

 

October 27, 2014 through November 23, 2014
 
37,935

 
$
28.04

 

 

November 24, 2014 through December 28, 2014
 
6,830

 
$
23.50

 

 

 
 
55,313

 
$
27.87

 

 

1 
The shares purchased represent shares surrendered to satisfy tax withholding obligations in connection with the vesting of restricted stock issued to employees.



46


ITEM 6: SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read together with "Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
 
Year Ended
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 
December 28, 2014
 
December 29, 2013
 
December 30, 2012
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
Consolidated Statements of Operations Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
 
$
3,027,265

 
$
2,507,203

 
$
2,417,501

 
$
2,374,376

 
$
2,219,230

Gross margin
 
$
625,127

 
$
491,072

 
$
246,398

 
$
226,218

 
$
509,893

Operating income (loss)
 
$
251,240

 
$
158,909

 
$
(287,708
)
 
$
(534,098
)
 
$
138,867

Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes and equity in earnings (loss) of unconsolidated investees
 
$
184,614

 
$
41,583

 
$
(329,663
)
 
$
(602,532
)
 
$
183,413

Income (loss) from continuing operations per share of common stock:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
$
1.91

 
$
0.79

 
$
(3.01
)
 
$
(6.28
)
 
$
1.74

Diluted
 
$
1.55

 
$
0.70

 
$
(3.01
)
 
$
(6.28
)
 
$
1.64

 
 
As of
(In thousands)
 
December 28, 2014
 
December 29, 2013
 
December 30, 2012
 
January 1, 2012
 
January 2, 2011
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
 
$
956,175

 
$
762,511

 
$
457,487

 
$
725,618

 
$
605,420

Working capital
 
$
1,273,236

 
$
528,017

 
$
976,627

 
$
1,163,245

 
$
1,005,492

Total assets
 
$
4,357,182

 
$
3,898,690

 
$
3,340,948

 
$
3,519,130

 
$
3,379,331

Long-term debt
 
$
218,657

 
$
93,095

 
$
375,661

 
$
364,273

 
$
50,000

Convertible debt, net of current portion
 
$
700,079

 
$
300,079

 
$
438,629

 
$
423,268

 
$
591,923

Total stockholders' equity
 
$
1,534,174

 
$
1,116,153

 
$
993,352

 
$
1,274,725

 
$
1,657,434




47


ITEM 7: MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Overview

We are a vertically integrated solar products and solutions company that designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar systems worldwide, serving as a one-stop shop for residential, commercial, and utility-scale power plant customers. Of all the solar cells available for the mass market, we believe our solar cells have the highest conversion efficiency, a measurement of the amount of sunlight converted by the solar cell into electricity.

Segments Overview

We manage resource allocations and measure performance among three regional segments: (i) the Americas Segment, (ii) the EMEA Segment, and (iii) the APAC Segment. The Americas Segment includes both North and South America. The EMEA Segment includes European countries, as well as the Middle East and Africa. The APAC Segment includes all Asia-Pacific countries.

Unit of Power

When referring to our solar power systems, our facilities’ manufacturing capacity, and total sales, the unit of electricity in watts for kilowatts ("KW"), megawatts ("MW"), and gigawatts ("GW") is direct current ("dc").

Seasonal Trends

Our business is subject to industry-specific seasonal fluctuations including changes in weather patterns and economic incentives, among others. Sales have historically reflected these seasonal trends with the largest percentage of total revenues realized during the last two quarters of a fiscal year. The construction of solar power systems or installation of solar power components and related revenue may decline during cold winter months. In the United States, many customers make purchasing decisions towards the end of the year in order to take advantage of tax credits or for other budgetary reasons.

Fiscal Years

We have a 52-to-53-week fiscal year that ends on the Sunday closest to December 31. Accordingly, every fifth or sixth year will be a 53-week fiscal year. Fiscal years 2014, 2013 and 2012 are 52-week fiscal years. Fiscal 2014 ended on December 28, 2014, fiscal 2013 ended on December 29, 2013, and fiscal 2012 ended December 30, 2012. Fiscal 2015 will be a 53-week fiscal year and will end on January 3, 2016.

Components of Results of Operations

The following section describes certain line items in our Consolidated Statements of Operations:

Revenue

We recognize revenue from the following activities and transactions within our regional segments:

Solar power components: the sale of panels and balance of system components, primarily to dealers, system integrators and distributors, in some cases on a multi-year, firm commitment basis.

Solar power systems: the design, manufacture, and sale of high-performance rooftop and ground-mounted solar power systems under construction and development agreements.

Residential leases: revenue recognized on systems under lease agreements with residential customers for terms of up to 20 years.

Other: revenue related to our solar power services and solutions, such as post-installation systems monitoring and maintenance in connection with construction contracts and commercial power purchase agreements.

For a discussion of how and when we recognize revenue, see "—Critical Accounting Estimates—Revenue Recognition."


48


Cost of Revenue

We generally recognize our cost of revenue in the same period that we recognize related revenue. Our cost of revenue fluctuates from period to period due to the mix of projects that we complete and the associated revenue that we recognize, particularly for construction contracts and large-scale development projects involving real estate. For a discussion of how and when we recognize revenue, see "—Critical Accounting Estimates—Revenue Recognition."

The cost of solar panels is the single largest cost element in our cost of revenue. Our cost of solar panels consists primarily of: (i) polysilicon, silicon ingots and wafers used in the production of solar cells; (ii) solar cells from our AUO SunPower Sdn. Bhd. ("AUOSP") joint venture; (iii) other materials and chemicals including glass, frame, and backing; and (iv) direct labor costs and assembly costs we pay to our third-party contract manufacturers. Other cost of revenue associated with the construction of solar power systems includes real estate, mounting systems, inverters, and construction subcontract and dealer costs. Other factors that contribute to our cost of revenue include salaries and personnel-related costs, depreciation, facilities related charges, and freight.

Gross Margin

Our gross margin each quarter is affected by a number of factors, including average selling prices for our solar power components, the types of projects in progress, the gross margins estimated for those projects in progress, our product mix, our actual manufacturing costs, the utilization rate of our solar cell manufacturing facilities, and actual overhead costs.

Research and Development

Research and development expense consists primarily of salaries and related personnel costs; depreciation of equipment; and the cost of solar panel materials, various prototyping materials, and services used for the development and testing of products. Research and development expense is reported net of contributions under collaborative arrangements.

Sales, General and Administrative

Sales, general and administrative expense consists primarily of salaries and related personnel costs, professional fees and other selling and marketing expenses.

Restructuring

Restructuring expense consists mainly of costs associated with our November 2014 reorganization plan aimed towards realigning resources consistently with SunPower's global strategy and improving overall operating efficiency and cost structure. Charges in connection with this plan are primarily related to severance benefits.

Remaining restructuring costs are related to plans effected in both fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2011. These restructuring activities were substantially complete as of December 28, 2014; however, we expect to continue to incur costs as we finalize previous estimates and actions in connection with these plans, primarily due to other costs, such as legal services.

Goodwill and Other Intangible Asset Impairment

Goodwill and other intangible asset impairment primarily consists of impairment of goodwill as a result of our 2012 annual impairment test as we determined the carrying value of certain reporting units exceeded their fair value. Additionally, during fiscal 2012 we determined the carrying value of certain intangible assets in Europe were no longer recoverable. There were no impacts on the results of operations related to goodwill and other intangible asset impairment for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

Other Income (Expense), Net

Interest expense primarily relates to: (i) amortization expense recorded for warrants issued to Total in connection with the Liquidity Support Agreement executed in the first quarter of fiscal 2012; (ii) debt under our senior convertible debentures; (iii) fees for our outstanding letters of credit; and (iv) other outstanding bank and project debt.

Gain on share lending arrangement relates to recovery of claims related to unreturned shares under our former share lending arrangement with Lehman Brothers International (Europe) Limited ("LBIE") following their bankruptcy.


49


Other, net includes gains or losses on foreign exchange and derivatives as well as gains or losses related to sales and impairments of certain investments.

Income Taxes

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for temporary differences between financial statement and income tax bases of assets and liabilities. Valuation allowances are provided against deferred tax assets when management cannot conclude that it is more likely than not that some portion or all deferred tax assets will be realized.

We currently benefit from income tax holidays incentives in the Philippines in accordance with our registration with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority ("PEZA"). We have an auxiliary company ruling in Switzerland, where we sell our solar power products, which currently reduces our Swiss tax rate. For additional information see "Note 1. The Company and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies" and "Note 13. Income Taxes" under "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements."

For financial reporting purposes, during periods when we were a subsidiary of Cypress, income tax expense and deferred income tax balances were calculated as if we were a separate entity and had prepared our own separate tax return. Effective with the closing of our public offering of common stock in June 2006, we were no longer eligible to file federal and most state consolidated tax returns with Cypress. As of September 29, 2008, Cypress completed a spin-off of all of its shares of our former class B common stock to its shareholders, so we are no longer eligible to file any remaining state consolidated tax returns with Cypress. Under our tax sharing agreement with Cypress, we agreed to pay Cypress for any federal and state income tax credit or net operating loss carryforwards utilized in our federal and state tax returns in subsequent periods that originated while our results were included in Cypress’s federal tax returns.

Equity in Earnings (Loss) of Unconsolidated Investees

Equity in earnings (loss) of unconsolidated investees represents our reportable share of earnings (loss) generated from entities in which we own an equity interest accounted for under the equity method.

Net Loss Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests and Redeemable Noncontrolling Interests

We have entered into facilities with third-party investors under which the parties invest in entities that hold SunPower solar power systems and leases with residential customers. We determined that we hold controlling interests in these less-than-wholly-owned entities and have fully consolidated these entities as a result. The investors were determined to hold noncontrolling interests, some of which are redeemable at the option of the noncontrolling interest holder. We apply the hypothetical liquidation value method in allocating recorded net income (loss) to each investor based on the change in the reporting period of the amount of net assets of the entity to which each investor would be entitled to under the governing contractual arrangements in a liquidation scenario.

Critical Accounting Estimates

We prepare our consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, which requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses recorded in our financial statements. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions and conditions. In addition to our most critical estimates discussed below, we also have other key accounting policies that are less subjective and, therefore, judgments involved in their application would not have a material impact on our reported results of operations (See "Note 1. The Company and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies" under "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements").

Revenue Recognition

Solar Power Components

We sell our solar panels and balance of system components primarily to dealers, system integrators and distributors, and recognize revenue, net of accruals for estimated sales returns, when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery of the product has occurred, title and risk of loss has passed to the customer, the sales price is fixed or determinable, collectability

50


of the resulting receivable is reasonably assured and the risks and rewards of ownership have passed to the customer. Other than standard warranty obligations, there are no rights of return and there are no significant post-shipment obligations, including installation, training, or customer acceptance clauses, with any of our customers that could have an impact on revenue recognition. Our revenue recognition policy is consistent across all geographic areas.

Construction Contracts

Revenue is also composed of EPC projects which are governed by customer contracts that require us to deliver functioning solar power systems and are generally completed within three to twelve months from commencement of construction. Construction on large projects may be completed within eighteen to thirty six months, depending on the size and location. We recognize revenue from fixed-price construction contracts, that do not include land or land rights, using the percentage-of-completion method of accounting. Under this method, revenue arising from fixed price construction contracts is recognized as work is performed based on the percentage of incurred costs to estimated total forecasted costs.

Incurred costs used in our percentage-of-completion calculation include all direct material, labor and subcontract costs, and those indirect costs related to contract performance, such as indirect labor, supplies, and tools. Project material costs are included in incurred costs when the project materials have been installed by being permanently attached or fitted to the solar power system as required by the project’s engineering design.

In addition to an EPC deliverable, a limited number of arrangements also include multiple deliverables such as post-installation systems monitoring and maintenance. For contracts with separately priced monitoring and maintenance, we recognize revenue related to such separately priced elements over the contract period. For contracts including monitoring and maintenance not separately priced, we determined that post-installation systems monitoring and maintenance qualify as separate units of accounting. Such post-installation monitoring and maintenance are deferred at the time the contract is executed based on the best estimate of selling price on a standalone basis and are recognized to revenue over the contractual term. The remaining EPC revenue is recognized on a percentage-of-completion basis.

In addition, when arrangements include contingent revenue clauses, such as customer termination or put rights for non-performance, we defer the contingent revenue if there is a reasonable possibility that such rights or contingencies may be triggered. In certain limited cases, we could be required to buy-back a customer’s system at fair value on specified future dates if certain minimum performance thresholds are not met for periods of up to two years. To date, no such repurchase obligations have been triggered (see "Note 9. Commitments and Contingencies" under "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements").

Provisions for estimated losses on uncompleted contracts, if any, are recognized in the period in which the loss first becomes probable and reasonably estimable. Contracts may include profit incentives such as milestone bonuses. These profit incentives are included in the contract value when their realization is reasonably assured.

Development Projects

We develop and sell solar power plants which generally include the sale or lease of related real estate. Revenue recognition for these solar power plants require adherence to specific guidance for real estate sales, which provides that if we execute a sale of land in conjunction with an EPC contract requiring the future development of the property, we recognize revenue and the corresponding costs under the full accrual method when all of the following requirements are met: the sale is consummated, the buyer's initial and any continuing investments are adequate, the resulting receivables are not subject to subordination, the future costs to develop the property can be reasonably estimated and we have transferred the customary risk and rewards of ownership to the buyer. In general, a sale is consummated upon the execution of an agreement documenting the terms of the sale and receipt of a minimum initial payment by the buyer to substantiate the transfer of risk to the buyer. Depending on the value of the initial and continuing investment of the buyer, and provided the recovery of the costs of the solar power plant are assured if the buyer defaults, we may defer revenue and profit during construction by aligning our revenue recognition and release of deferred project costs to cost of sales with the receipt of payment from the buyer. At the time we have unconditionally received payment from the buyer, revenue is recognized and deferred project costs are released to cost of sales at the same rate of profit estimated throughout the construction of the project.

Residential Leases

We offer a solar lease program, in partnership with third-party financial institutions, which allows our residential customers to obtain SunPower systems under lease agreements for terms of up to 20 years. Leases are classified as either

51


operating- or sales-type leases in accordance with the relevant accounting guidelines, which involve making a variety of estimates, including the fair value and residual value of leased solar power systems.

For those systems classified as sales-type leases, the net present value of the minimum lease payments, net of executory costs, is recognized as revenue when the lease is placed in service. This net present value as well as the net present value of the residual value of the lease at termination are recorded as receivables in our Consolidated Balance Sheets. The difference between the initial net amounts and the gross amounts are amortized to revenue over the lease term using the interest method. The residual values of our solar systems are determined at the inception of the lease by applying an estimated system fair value at the end of the lease term.

For those systems classified as operating leases, rental revenue is recognized, net of executory costs, on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts and Sales Returns

We maintain allowances for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of our customers to make required payments. A considerable amount of judgment is required to assess the likelihood of the ultimate realization of accounts receivable. We make our estimates of the collectability of our accounts receivable by analyzing historical bad debts, specific customer creditworthiness and current economic trends.

In addition, at the time revenue is recognized from the sale of solar panels and balance of system components, we record estimates for sales returns which reduce revenue. These estimates are based on historical sales returns, analysis of credit memo data, among other known factors.

Warranty Reserves

We generally provide a warranty for our solar panels that we manufacture at certain levels of power output for 25 years. In addition, we pass through to customers long-term warranties from the original equipment manufacturers of certain system components, such as inverters. Warranties of 25 years from solar panel suppliers are standard in the solar industry, while certain system components carry warranty periods ranging from five to 20 years. In addition, we generally warrant our workmanship on installed systems for periods ranging up to 25 years and also provide system output performance warranties. We maintain reserves to cover the expected costs that could result from these warranties. Our expected costs are generally in the form of product replacement or repair. Warranty reserves are based on our best estimate of such costs and are recognized as a cost of revenue. We continuously monitor product returns for warranty failures and maintain a reserve for the related warranty expenses based on various factors including historical warranty claims, results of accelerated lab testing, field monitoring, vendor reliability estimates, and data on industry averages for similar products. Historically, warranty costs have been within management’s expectations.

Valuation of Inventories

Inventories are valued at the lower of cost or market value. We evaluate the recoverability of our inventories, including future purchase commitments under fixed-price long-term supply agreements, based on assumptions about expected demand and market conditions. Our assumption of expected demand is developed based on our analysis of bookings, sales backlog, sales pipeline, market forecast and competitive intelligence. Our assumption of expected demand is compared to available inventory, production capacity, future polysilicon purchase commitments, available third-party inventory and growth plans. Our factory production plans, which drive materials requirement planning, are established based on our assumptions of expected demand. We respond to reductions in expected demand by temporarily reducing manufacturing output and adjusting expected valuation assumptions as necessary. In addition, expected demand by geography has changed historically due to changes in the availability and size of government mandates and economic incentives.

We evaluate the terms of our long-term inventory purchase agreements with suppliers, including joint ventures, for the procurement of polysilicon, ingots, wafers, and solar cells and establish accruals for estimated losses on adverse purchase commitments as necessary, such as lower of cost or market value adjustments, forfeiture of advanced deposits and liquidated damages. Obligations related to non-cancellable purchase orders for inventories match current and forecasted sales orders that will consume these ordered materials and actual consumption of these ordered materials are compared to expected demand regularly. We anticipate total obligations related to long-term supply agreements for inventories will be recovered because quantities are less than management's expected demand for its solar power products. Other market conditions that could affect the realizable value of our inventories and are periodically evaluated by management include the aging of inventories on hand, historical inventory turnover ratio, anticipated sales price, new product development schedules, the effect new products might

52


have on the sale of existing products, product obsolescence, customer concentrations, the current market price of polysilicon as compared to the price in our fixed-price arrangements, and product merchantability, among other factors. If, based on assumptions about expected demand and market conditions, we determine that the cost of inventories exceeds its estimated market value or inventory is excess or obsolete, we record a write-down or accrual, which may be material, equal to the difference between the cost of inventories and the estimated market value. If actual market conditions are less favorable than those projected by management, additional inventory write-downs may be required that could negatively affect our gross margin and operating results. If actual market conditions are more favorable, we may have higher gross margin when products that have been previously written down are sold in the normal course of business.

Stock-Based Compensation

We provide stock-based awards to our employees, executive officers and directors through various equity compensation plans including our employee stock option and restricted stock plans. We measure and record compensation expense for all stock-based payment awards based on estimated fair values. The fair value of restricted stock awards and units is based on the market price of our common stock on the date of grant. We have not granted stock options since fiscal 2008. We are required under current accounting guidance to estimate forfeitures at the date of grant. Our estimate of forfeitures is based on our historical activity, which we believe is indicative of expected forfeitures. In subsequent periods if the actual rate of forfeitures differs from our estimate, the forfeiture rates are required to be revised, as necessary. Changes in the estimated forfeiture rates can have a significant effect on stock-based compensation expense since the effect of adjusting the rate is recognized in the period the forfeiture estimate is changed.

We also grant performance share units to executive officers and certain employees that require us to estimate expected achievement of performance targets over the performance period. This estimate involves judgment regarding future expectations of various financial performance measures. If there are changes in our estimate of the level of financial performance measures expected to be achieved, the related stock-based compensation expense may be significantly increased or reduced in the period that our estimate changes.

Variable Interest Entities ("VIE")

We regularly evaluate our relationships and involvement with unconsolidated VIEs, including our AUOSP joint venture and our other equity and cost method investments, to determine whether we have a controlling financial interest in them or have become the primary beneficiary, thereby requiring us to consolidate their financial results into our financial statements. In connection with the sale of the equity interests in the entities that hold solar power plants, we also consider whether we retain a variable interest in the entity sold, either through retaining a financial interest or by contractual means. If we determine that the entity sold is a VIE and that we hold a variable interest, we then evaluate whether we are the primary beneficiary. If we determine that we are the primary beneficiary, we will consolidate the VIE. The determination of whether we are the primary beneficiary is based upon whether we have the power to direct the activities that most directly impact the economic performance of the VIE and whether we absorb any losses or benefits that would be potentially significant to the VIE. To date, there have been no sales of entities holding solar power plants in which we have concluded that we are the primary beneficiary after the sale.

Accounting for Business Combinations

We record all acquired assets and liabilities, including goodwill, other intangible assets and in-process research and development, at fair value. The initial recording of goodwill, other intangible assets and in-process research and development requires certain estimates and assumptions concerning the determination of the fair values and useful lives. The judgments made in the context of the purchase price allocation can materially affect our future results of operations. Accordingly, for significant acquisitions, we obtain assistance from third-party valuation specialists. The valuations calculated from estimates are based on information available at the acquisition date. Goodwill is not amortized, but is subject to annual tests for impairment or more frequent tests if events or circumstances indicate it may be impaired. Other intangible assets are amortized over their estimated useful lives and are subject to impairment if events or circumstances indicate a possible inability to realize the carrying amount. For additional details see "Note 3. Business Combinations" and "Note 4. Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets" under "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements."


Valuation of Long-Lived Assets

Our long-lived assets include property, plant and equipment, solar power systems, and project assets. We evaluate our long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets

53


may not be recoverable. Factors considered important that could result in an impairment review include significant under-performance relative to expected historical or projected future operating results, significant changes in the manner of use of acquired assets and significant negative industry or economic trends. Our impairment evaluation of long-lived assets includes an analysis of estimated future undiscounted net cash flows expected to be generated by the assets over their remaining estimated useful lives. If our estimate of future undiscounted net cash flows is insufficient to recover the carrying value of the assets over the remaining estimated useful lives, we record an impairment loss in the amount by which the carrying value of the assets exceeds the fair value. Fair value is generally measured based on either quoted market prices, if available, or discounted cash flow analyses.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

Certain of our financial assets and financial liabilities, including our cash and cash equivalents, foreign currency derivatives, and convertible debenture derivatives are carried at fair value in our Consolidated Financial Statements. Current accounting guidance provides a hierarchy for inputs used in measuring fair value that maximizes the use of observable inputs and minimizes the use of unobservable inputs by requiring that the observable inputs be used when available:

Level 1 — Valuations based on quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities that we have the ability to access. Since valuations are based on quoted prices that are readily and regularly available in an active market, valuation of these products does not entail a significant degree of judgment. Financial assets utilizing Level 1 inputs include money market funds.

Level 2 — Measurements are inputs that are observable for assets or liabilities, either directly or indirectly, other than quoted prices included within Level 1. Financial assets utilizing Level 2 inputs include foreign currency option contracts, forward exchange contracts and convertible debenture derivatives. The selection of a particular technique to value a derivative depends upon the contractual term of, and specific risks inherent with, the instrument as well as the availability of pricing information in the market. We generally use similar techniques to value similar instruments. Valuation techniques utilize a variety of inputs, including contractual terms, market prices, yield curves, credit curves and measures of volatility. For derivatives that trade in liquid markets, such as generic forward and option contracts, inputs can generally be verified and selections do not involve significant management judgment.

Level 3 — Prices or valuations that require management inputs that are both significant to the fair value measurement and unobservable. We did not have any assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis requiring Level 3 inputs.

Valuation of Certain Convertible Debt

Convertible debt instruments that may be settled in cash upon conversion require recognition of both the liability and equity components in our Consolidated Financial Statements. The debt component is required to be recognized at the fair value of a similar debt instrument that does not have an associated equity component. The equity component is recognized as the difference between the proceeds from the issuance of the convertible debt and the fair value of the liability, after adjusting for the deferred tax impact. The accounting guidance also requires an accretion of the resulting debt discount over the expected life of the convertible debt.

Accounting for Income Taxes

Our global operations involve manufacturing, research and development, and selling and project development activities. Profit from non-U.S. activities is subject to local country taxation, but not subject to U.S. tax until repatriated to the United States. It is our intention to indefinitely reinvest these earnings outside the United States. We record a valuation allowance to reduce our U.S. and French deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized. In assessing the need for a valuation allowance, we consider historical levels of income, expectations and risks associated with the estimates of future taxable income and ongoing prudent and feasible tax planning strategies. In the event we determine that we would be able to realize additional deferred tax assets in the future in excess of the net recorded amount, or if we subsequently determine that realization of an amount previously recorded is unlikely, we would record an adjustment to the deferred tax asset valuation allowance, which would change income tax in the period of adjustment. As of December 28, 2014, we believe there is insufficient evidence to realize additional deferred tax assets, although it is possible that a reversal of the valuation allowance, which could be material, could occur in a future period.

The calculation of tax liabilities involves dealing with uncertainties in the application of complex global tax regulations. We recognize potential liabilities for anticipated tax audit issues in the United States and other tax jurisdictions based on our

54


estimate of whether, and the extent to which, additional taxes will be due. If payment of these amounts ultimately proves to be unnecessary, the reversal of the liabilities would result in tax benefits being recognized in the period in which we determine the liabilities are no longer necessary. If the estimate of tax liabilities proves to be less than the ultimate tax assessment, a further charge to expense would result. We accrue interest and penalties on tax contingencies which are classified as "Provision for income taxes" in our Consolidated Statements of Operations and are not considered material.

Pursuant to the Tax Sharing Agreement with Cypress, our former parent company, we are obligated to indemnify Cypress upon current utilization of carryforward tax attributes generated while we were part of the Cypress consolidated or combined group. Further, to the extent Cypress experiences any tax examination assessments attributable to our operations while part of the Cypress consolidated or combined group, Cypress will require an indemnification from us for those aspects of the assessment that relate to our operations. See also "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Operations—Our agreements with Cypress require us to indemnify Cypress for certain tax liabilities. These indemnification obligations and related contractual restrictions may limit our ability to pursue certain business initiatives."

In addition, foreign exchange gains (losses) may result from estimated tax liabilities which are expected to be realized in currencies other than the U.S. dollar.

Outlook

While remaining focused on our U.S. market, we plan to continue to expand our business in growing and sustainable markets, including Africa, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, South America, and Turkey. Through our investment in Huaxia CPV (Inner Mongolia) Power Co., Ltd., with partners in China, we plan to manufacture and deploy our C7 Tracker systems in Inner Mongolia and other regions in China. We plan to expand our solar cell manufacturing capacity through the construction of a facility in the Philippines with a planned annual capacity of 350 MW once fully operational, which is expected to occur in fiscal 2016, with initial production expected during fiscal 2015.

We continue to improve our unique, differentiated solar cell and panel technology. Our new residential product line includes our SunPower X-Series Solar Panels with demonstrated average panel efficiencies exceeding 21.5%. We are focused on reducing the cost of our solar panels and systems and are working with our suppliers and partners along all steps of the value chain to reduce costs by improving manufacturing technologies and expanding economies of scale. We continue to emphasize improvement of our solar cell efficiency and LCOE and CCOE performance through enhancement of our existing products, development of new products and reduction of manufacturing cost and complexity in conjunction with our overall cost-control strategies. In fiscal 2014, we produced our first solar cells with over 25% efficiency in the lab and in fiscal 2015, we expect to reach production panel efficiencies of 23% using a simplified, lower cost manufacturing process.

We continue to see significant and increasing opportunities in technologies and capabilities adjacent to our core product offerings that can significantly reduce CCOE, including the integration of energy storage and energy management functionality into our systems, and have made investments to realize those opportunities, including our investment in Tendril Networks, our acquisition of SolarBridge Technologies, and our exclusive agreement with Sunverge Energy. We have licensed a data-driven ESM Platform to power the development of new Smart Energy applications designed to deliver personalized energy services to our customers. We have added advanced module-level control electronics to our portfolio of technology designed to enable longer series strings and significant balance of system components cost reductions in large arrays. We are developing next generation microinverters designed to eliminate the need to mount or assemble additional components on the roof or the side of a building and enable optimization and monitoring at the solar panel level to ensure maximum energy production by the solar system. We also expect to make combined solar and distributed energy storage solutions broadly commercially available to certain customers in the United States and Australia in fiscal 2015 through an exclusive agreement to offer Sunverge SIS energy solutions comprising batteries, power electronics, and multiple energy inputs controlled by software in the cloud.

Projects Sold / Under Contract

The table below presents significant construction and development projects sold or under contract as of December 28, 2014:

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Project
 
Location
 
Size (MW)
 
Third-Party Owner / Purchaser
 
Power Purchase Agreement(s)
 
Expected Completion of Revenue Recognition3
Solar Star Projects
 
California, USA
 
748
 
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
 
Southern California Edison
 
2015
Prieska Solar Project1
 
South Africa
 
86
 
Mulilo Prieska PV (RF) Proprietary Limited
 
Eskom Holdings Soc LTD
 
2016
Project Salvador1
 
Chile
 
70
 
Total S.A.,
Etrion Corporation,
Solventus Energias Renovables
 
N/A2
 
2015
1 
We have entered into an EPC agreement and a long-term fixed price operations and maintenance ("O&M") agreement with the owners of the Prieska Solar Project and Project Salvador.
2 
Electricity produced will be sold on the spot market.
3 
Expected completion of revenue recognition assumes completion of construction in the stated fiscal year.


As of December 28, 2014, an aggregate of approximately $379 million of remaining revenue is expected to be recognized on projects reflected in the table above through the expected completion dates noted. Projects will be removed from the table above in the period in which substantially all of the revenue for such project has been recognized.

Projects with Executed Power Purchase Agreements - Not Sold / Not Under Contract

The table below presents significant construction and development projects with executed power purchase agreements, but not sold or under contract as of December 28, 2014:
Project
 
Location
 
Size (MW)
 
Power Purchase Agreement(s)
 
Expected Completion of Revenue Recognition1
Quinto Solar Project
 
California
 
135
 
Southern California Edison
 
2015
Henrietta Solar Project
 
California
 
128
 
PG&E
 
2016
Hooper Solar Project
 
Colorado
 
60
 
Public Service Company of Colorado
 
2016
1 
Expected completion of revenue recognition assumes completion of construction and sale of the project in the stated fiscal year.

Our project pipeline extends beyond the projects represented in the tables above. Significant projects with development and milestone activities in progress will be excluded from the table above until an associated power purchase agreement has been executed.

Residential Leasing Program

In fiscal 2011, we launched our residential lease program with dealers in the United States, in partnership with third-party investors, which provides U.S. customers SunPower systems under 20-year lease agreements that include system maintenance and warranty coverage. SunPower residential lease customers have the option to purchase their leased solar systems upon the sale or transfer of their home. Our financing arrangements with third-party investors take various forms, including non-recourse financing arrangements with tax equity investors and non-recourse loan agreements. Leases are classified as either operating or sales-type leases in accordance with the relevant accounting guidelines. We plan to continue to expand the program, and are exploring opportunities to offer additional financial products to customers in the United States and in select international markets, certain of which may occur in fiscal 2015.

The program does not yet represent a material portion of our revenue. However, we may face additional material risks as the program expands, including our ability to obtain additional financing partners as well as our ability to collect finance and rent receivables. We believe that our concentration of credit risk is limited because of our large number of customers, credit

56


quality of the customer base, small account balances for most of these customers, and customer geographic diversification. We have applied and will apply for the §48(c) solar commercial investment tax credit ("ITC") and Treasury Grant payments under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the "Cash Grant"), which are administered by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") and Treasury Department, respectively, for residential leases. We have structured the tax incentive applications, both in timing and amount, to be in accordance with the guidance provided by Treasury and IRS. If the amount or timing of the ITC or Cash Grant payments received in connection with the residential lease program varies from what we have projected, this may impact our revenues and margins and we may have to recognize losses, which may adversely impact our results of operations and cash flows. We make certain assumptions in accounting for the residential lease program, including, among others, the residual value of the leased systems. As the residential lease program grows, if the residual value of leased systems does not materialize as assumed, our results of operations would be adversely affected.

Results of Operations

Revenue
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
% of total revenue
 
2013
 
% of total revenue
 
2012
 
% of total revenue
Americas
 
$
2,323,441

 
77%
 
$
1,676,472

 
67%
 
$
1,696,348

 
70%
EMEA
 
288,533

 
9%
 
450,659

 
18%
 
489,484

 
20%
APAC
 
415,291

 
14%
 
380,072

 
15%
 
231,669

 
10%
Total revenue
 
$
3,027,265

 
 
 
$
2,507,203

 
 
 
$
2,417,501

 
 

Total Revenue:  Our total revenue increased 21% during fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 primarily due to timing of revenue recognition and significant progress on certain large-scale solar power systems involving real estate. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, certain large-scale solar power systems involving real estate met the required criteria, as described in "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 1. The Company and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies," to recognize $429 million of incremental revenue under the full accrual method.

Our total revenue increased 4% during fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 primarily due to an overall increase in components sales generally made under long-term supply agreements, and timing of revenue recognition on certain large-scale solar power systems involving real estate.

Concentrations: Sales outside the Americas Segment represented approximately 23% and 33% of total revenue recognized during fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2013, respectively. The increase in percentage of revenue within the Americas Segment was primarily driven by a significant increase in revenue due to timing of revenue recognition and significant progress on certain large-scale solar power systems involving real estate. The increase in percentage of revenue within the Americas Segment was also driven by lower revenue recognized within the EMEA Segment due to substantial completion of revenue recognition on certain utility-scale solar power systems, partially offset by an increase in component sales within the APAC Segment, primarily in Japan.

Sales outside the Americas Segment represented approximately 33% and 30% of total revenue recognized during fiscal 2013 and fiscal 2012, respectively. The decrease in percentage of sales within the Americas Segment was driven by additional component sales within the APAC Segment, primarily in Japan, as well as expanded business activities outside of Europe, including the Middle East and Africa.

The table below represents our significant customers that accounted for greater than 10 percent of total revenue in fiscal 2014, 2013, and 2012, respectively.
 
 
Fiscal Year
Revenue
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Significant Customers:
 
Business Segment
 
 
 
 
 
 
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
 
Americas
 
49
%
 
25
%
 
*

NRG Solar, Inc.
 
Americas
 
*
 
17
%
 
35
%

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*
denotes less than 10% during the period

Americas Revenue: Americas revenue increased 39% during fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013, primarily due to timing of revenue recognition and significant progress on certain large-scale solar power systems involving real estate. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, certain large-scale solar power systems involving real estate met the required criteria, as described in "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 1. The Company and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies," to recognize $429 million of incremental revenue under the full accrual method.

Americas revenue decreased 1% during fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 primarily as a result of lower volumes of component sales within the region and projects which were substantially completed during the period. The decrease was partially offset by an increase in revenue recognized on large-scale solar power systems involving real estate.

EMEA Revenue:  EMEA revenue decreased 36% during fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013, primarily due to substantial completion of revenue recognition on certain utility-scale solar power systems.

 EMEA revenue decreased 8% during fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 due to lower component sales made through the global dealer network, partially offset by an increase in utility-scale solar projects and related revenue, including the sale of a 10 MW solar power system in Israel and revenue recognized on two solar power systems totaling 33 MW under construction in South Africa.

APAC Revenue: APAC revenue increased 9% during fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 due to additional component sales made under long-term supply agreements, primarily in Japan, partially offset by lower average selling prices.

APAC revenue increased 64% in fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 primarily a result of additional component sales in Japan made under long-term supply agreements, partially offset by declines in average selling prices.

Revenue recognized during fiscal 2014, 2013 and 2012 for each of the below categories was as follows:
 
 
Fiscal Year
Revenue by Significant Category (in thousands):
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Solar power components1
 
$
943,652

 
$
917,960

 
$
985,436

Solar power systems2
 
1,896,696

 
1,399,972

 
1,318,269

Residential leases3
 
129,962

 
137,054

 
68,914

Other revenue4
 
56,955

 
52,217

 
44,882

 
 
$
3,027,265

 
$
2,507,203

 
$
2,417,501

1 
Solar power components represents direct sales of panels, balance of system components, and inverters to dealers, systems integrators, and residential, commercial, and utility customers in all regions.
2 
Solar power systems represents revenue recognized in connection with our construction and development contracts.
3 
Residential leases represents revenue recognized on solar power systems leased to customers under our solar lease program.
4 
Other revenue includes revenue related to our solar power services and solutions, such as post-installation systems monitoring and maintenance and commercial power purchase agreements.

Solar Power Components: Revenue related to solar power components increased $25.7 million, or 3% in fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 due to increased component sales in APAC, primarily in Japan. Revenue related to solar power components decreased $67.5 million or 7% in fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 primarily due to lower sales in the EMEA Segment as a result of declines in European government incentives enacted during fiscal 2011, which negatively impacted demand and pricing within the region.

Solar Power Systems: Revenue related to our solar power systems increased $496.7 million, or 35% in fiscal 2014 as compared to 2013 primarily due to timing of revenue recognition and significant progress on certain large-scale solar power systems involving real estate. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, certain large-scale solar power systems involving real estate met the required criteria, as described in "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 1. The Company and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies," to recognize $429 million of incremental revenue under the full accrual method.


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Revenue related to our solar power systems increased $81.7 million, or 6%, in fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012. The increase was primarily due to timing of revenue recognition on certain large-scale solar power systems involving real estate, partially offset by substantial completion of revenue recognition on other construction and development contracts during the period.

Residential Leases: Revenue recognized in connection with our residential lease program decreased $7.1 million, or 5% in fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 primarily due to a decrease in the number of solar power systems placed in service that were accounted for as sales-type leases and was partially offset by an increase in rent and rebate revenue from operating leases.

Revenue recognized in connection with our residential lease program increased $68.1 million in fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 which was attributable to additional leased solar power systems placed in service and additional facilities under which third-party investors hold noncontrolling interests in certain of our consolidated entities that hold SunPower solar power systems and leases with residential customers.

Cost of Revenue
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Americas
 
$
1,759,639

 
$
1,299,701

 
$
1,415,417

EMEA
 
250,735

 
419,416

 
559,993

APAC
 
391,764

 
297,014

 
195,693

Total cost of revenue
 
$
2,402,138

 
$
2,016,131

 
$
2,171,103

Total cost of revenue as a percentage of revenue
 
79
%
 
80
%
 
90
%
Total gross margin percentage
 
21
%
 
20
%
 
10
%

Total Cost of Revenue: Our total cost of revenue increased 19% in fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 primarily as a result of the substantial completion of recognition of revenue and corresponding costs of certain large-scale solar power systems, in addition to a charge of $56.8 million recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 in connection with a legal settlement related to First Philec, as described in "Item 3. Legal Proceedings," and a $52.0 million non-recurring gain in fiscal 2013 that was associated with the termination of a third-party supply contract.

Our total cost of revenue decreased 7% in fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 as a result of, (i) an overall decrease in material and installation costs; (ii) a $52.0 million gain associated with the termination of a third-party supply contract in the third quarter of fiscal 2013; (iii) $13.9 million of accelerated depreciation; and (iv) $11.9 million of idle equipment impairment recorded during fiscal 2012 as described below. The decrease was partially offset by an overall increase in components sales and additional project construction and development activities.

Gross Margin
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Americas
 
24%
 
22%
 
17%
EMEA
 
13%
 
7%
 
(14)%
APAC
 
6%
 
22%
 
16%

Americas Gross Margin: Gross margin for our Americas Segment increased 2 percentage points during fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 as a result of favorable margins on large utility-scale solar power systems recognized in fiscal 2014, including recognition of $145 million in incremental margin because we met the criteria to recognize revenue under the full accrual method, as described in "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 1. The Company and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies," for certain large-scale solar power systems involving real estate. The increase in fiscal 2014 gross margin was partially offset by a charge of $32.6 million recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 in connection with a legal settlement related to First Philec, as described in "Item 3. Legal Proceedings," as well as a $25.6 million non-recurring gain in fiscal 2013 that was associated with the termination of a third-party supply contract. Gross margin in our Americas Segment increased 5 percentage points in fiscal 2013 as compared to

59


fiscal 2012 primarily as a result of a $25.6 million non-recurring benefit in 2013 that was associated with the termination of a third-party supply contract.

EMEA Gross Margin: Gross margin for our EMEA Segment increased 6 percentage points in fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 as a result of more favorable margins on ongoing solar power projects, increased activity in component sales within the region, and recoveries in average selling prices, partially offset by a charge of $6.1 million recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 in connection with a legal settlement related to First Philec, as described in "Item 3. Legal Proceedings," as well as a $9.4 million non-recurring gain in fiscal 2013 that was associated with the termination of a third-party supply contract. Gross margin for our EMEA Segment increased 21 percentage points in fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 as a result of increased activity in utility-scale solar projects within the region, as well as a $9.4 million gain associated with the termination of a third-party supply contract during fiscal 2013.

APAC Gross Margin: Gross margin for our APAC Segment decreased 16 percentage points during fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 as a result of declines in average selling prices and an increase in the volume of components sold in fiscal 2014, primarily in Japan. The decrease in gross margin during fiscal 2014 is also the result of a charge of $18.1 million recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 in connection with a legal settlement related to First Philec, as described in "Item 3. Legal Proceedings," as well as a $17.0 million non-recurring gain in fiscal 2013 that was associated with the termination of a third-party supply contract. Gross margin for our APAC Segment increased 6 percentage points during fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 as a result of reductions in material and other costs at a rate greater than declines in average selling prices as well as a $17.0 million non-recurring gain associated with the termination of a third-party supply contract in fiscal 2013.

Research and Development ("R&D")
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
R&D
 
$
73,343

 
$
58,080

 
$
63,456

As a percentage of revenue
 
2
%
 
2
%
 
3
%

R&D expense increased $15.3 million, or 26%, in fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 primarily due to a $10.3 million increase in labor costs as a result of additional headcount and salary related expenses, as well as an increase in other net expenses such as consulting and outside services supporting programs related to our next generation solar technology. These increases were partially offset by contributions under the R&D Agreement with Total.

R&D expense decreased $5.4 million, or 8%, in fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 primarily due to (i) a $2.9 million decrease in labor costs; (ii) a $2.2 million charge recorded in fiscal 2012 related to an impairment of equipment recorded as a result of changes in the deployment plan for our next generation solar cell technology in one of our Fabs; and (iii) $1.7 million of contributions from Total received in fiscal 2013 in connection with projects under the R&D Agreement (See "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 2. Transactions with Total and Total S.A.").

Sales, General and Administrative ("SG&A")
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
SG&A
 
$
288,321

 
$
271,481

 
$
310,246

As a percentage of revenue
 
10
%
 
11
%
 
13
%

SG&A expense increased $16.8 million, or 6% during fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 primarily due to an increase in marketing activities.

SG&A expense decreased $38.8 million, or 12%, during fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 primarily as a result of our cost-control strategy implemented in response to the changes in the European market and the resulting restructuring activities in fiscal 2012 as well as a decrease in acquisition and integration costs that were incurred during fiscal 2012 as a result of our acquisition of Tenesol S.A. in January 2012. Additionally contributing to the decrease was a reduction in legal expenses as a result of the settlement of the securities class action lawsuit in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.


60


Restructuring Charges
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Restructuring charges
 
$
12,223

 
$
2,602

 
$
100,823

As a percentage of revenue
 
%
 
%
 
4
%

Restructuring charges during fiscal 2014 increased $9.6 million as compared to fiscal 2013 and were primarily related to severance charges associated with our November 2014 restructuring plan. Remaining restructuring charges are associated with legacy restructuring plans approved in fiscal 2012 and 2011.

Total restructuring charges decreased $98.2 million during fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012 due to the substantial completion of the activities associated with legacy restructuring plans approved in fiscal 2012 and 2011.

See "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 8. Restructuring" for further information regarding our restructuring plans.

Other Expense, Net
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Interest income
 
$
2,583

 
$
6,017

 
$
1,091

Interest expense
 
(69,658
)
 
(108,739
)
 
(84,120
)
Gain on share lending arrangement
 

 

 
50,645

Other, net
 
449

 
(14,604
)
 
(9,571
)
Other expense, net
 
$
(66,626
)
 
$
(117,326
)
 
$
(41,955
)
As a percentage of revenue
 
(2
)%
 
(5
)%
 
(2
)%
    
Other expense, net decreased $50.7 million or 43% in fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013 primarily driven by a decrease in interest expense due to the expiration of the Liquidity Support Agreement and the maturity of the 4.75% debentures due in April 2014, as well as favorable changes in the fair value of foreign currency derivatives and other net expenses. Other net expenses declined primarily as a result of charges, such as $4.9 million related to impairment of investments in unconsolidated investees, which occurred in fiscal 2013 and did not recur in fiscal 2014.

Other expense, net increased $75.4 million, or 180%, in fiscal 2013 as compared to fiscal 2012. The overall increase was primarily driven by (i) a $50.6 million gain recorded in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 related to the recovery of claims related to unreturned shares under our former share lending arrangement with Lehman Brothers International (Europe) Limited, which no similar gain was recorded in fiscal 2013; (ii) a $24.6 million increase in interest expense primarily due to additional non-cash interest expense as a result of amortization expense recorded for warrants issued to Total in connection with the Liquidity Support Agreement as well as additional long-term financing arrangements outstanding during the period; (iii) a $8.0 million net unfavorable change in the fair value of non-designated foreign currency derivatives; and (iv) $4.9 million in charges related to impairment of investments in unconsolidated investees, offset by a decrease in other net expenses of $12.7 million.

Income Taxes
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Provision for income taxes
 
$
(8,760
)
 
$
(11,905
)
 
$
(21,842
)
As a percentage of revenue
 
 %
 
 %
 
(1
)%

In fiscal 2014, our income tax provision of $8.8 million on income before income taxes and equity in earnings of unconsolidated investees of $184.6 million, was primarily due to tax expense in profitable foreign jurisdictions, prior period provision to return adjustments in the United States and foreign jurisdictions, valuation allowance release from an acquisition in the current period, as well as minimum taxes and adjustments to unrecognized tax benefits.
    

61


In fiscal 2013, our income tax provision of $11.9 million, on income before income taxes and equity in earnings of $41.6 million was due to tax on foreign income in certain jurisdictions where our operations were profitable, adjustments to unrecognized tax benefits, prior year return to provision adjustments and a valuation allowance recorded against a foreign deferred tax asset.

A material amount of our total revenue is generated from customers located outside of the United States, and a substantial portion of our assets and employees are located outside of the United States. United States income taxes and foreign withholding taxes have not been provided on the undistributed earnings of our non-United States subsidiaries as such earnings are intended to be indefinitely reinvested in operations outside the United States to the extent that such earnings have not been currently or previously subjected to taxation of the United States.

We record a valuation allowance to reduce our United States and France deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized. In assessing the need for a valuation allowance, we consider historical levels of income, expectations and risks associated with the estimates of future taxable income and ongoing prudent and feasible tax planning strategies. In the event we determine that we would be able to realize additional deferred tax assets in the future in excess of the net recorded amount, or if we subsequently determine that realization of an amount previously recorded is unlikely, we would record an adjustment to the deferred tax asset valuation allowance, which would change income tax in the period of adjustment. As of December 28, 2014, we believe there is insufficient evidence to realize additional deferred tax assets in fiscal 2014.

Equity in Earnings (Loss) of Unconsolidated Investees
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Equity in earnings (loss) of unconsolidated investees
 
$
7,241

 
$
3,872

 
$
(515
)
As a percentage of revenue
 
%
 
%
 
 %

In fiscal 2014, 2013 and 2012, our equity in earnings (loss) of unconsolidated investees was a net gain of $7.2 million, $3.9 million and a net loss of $0.5 million, respectively, primarily due to increased activities at our AUOSP joint venture.

Net Income
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Net income (loss)
 
$
183,095

 
$
33,550

 
$
(352,020
)

Net income increased $149.5 million in fiscal 2014 as compared to fiscal 2013. The increase in net income was primarily driven by: (i) a $134.1 million increase in gross margin due to favorable margins on various large utility-scale solar power systems recognized coupled with an overall decrease in material and installation costs, and (ii) a $50.7 million decrease in Other expense, net due to lower interest expense primarily as a result of the expiration of the Liquidity Support Agreement during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, but was partially offset by (iii) a $56.8 million legal settlement related to First Philec, as described in "Item 3. Legal Proceedings," as well as (iv) a $41.7 million increase in operating expenses.

Net income increased $385.6 million and moved from a net loss to a net income position in fiscal 2013 over fiscal 2012. The increase in net income was primarily driven by: (i) a $244.7 million increase in gross margin due to favorable margins on various large utility-scale solar power systems recognized during fiscal 2013, including an overall decrease in material and installation costs, as well as a $52.0 million non-cash gain associated with the termination of a third-party supply contract in the third quarter of fiscal 2013; (ii) a $98.2 million decrease in restructuring expense due to the substantial completion of the activities associated with legacy restructuring plans approved in fiscal 2012 and 2011; (iii) $59.6 million of goodwill and other intangible asset impairment recorded in the third quarter of fiscal 2012; and (iv) a $44.1 million decrease in other operating expenses attributable to our cost-control strategy implemented in response to the changes in the European market and resulting restructuring activities. These increases were partially offset by a $50.6 million gain recorded in the third quarter of fiscal 2012 related to the recovery of claims related to unreturned shares under our former share lending arrangement with LBIE following their bankruptcy.

Information about other significant variances in our results of operations is described above.

Net Loss Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests and Redeemable Noncontrolling Interests

62


 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests
 
$
62,799

 
$
62,043

 
$


We have entered into facilities with third-party investors under which the parties invest in entities that hold SunPower solar power systems and leases with residential customers. We determined that we hold controlling interests in these less-than-wholly-owned entities and have fully consolidated these entities as a result. We apply the hypothetical liquidation value method in allocating recorded net income (loss) to each investor based on the change in the reporting period, of the amount of net assets of the entity to which each investor would be entitled to under the governing contractual arrangements in a liquidation scenario.

In fiscal 2014 and 2013, we attributed $62.8 million and $62.0 million, respectively, of net losses primarily to the third-party investors as a result of allocating certain assets, including tax credits and accelerated tax depreciation benefits, to the investors. The $0.8 million increase in net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests is primarily the result of additional leases placed in service under existing and new facilities executed with third-party investors in the period.

63


Liquidity and Capital Resources
 
Cash Flows

A summary of the sources and uses of cash and cash equivalents is as follows:
 
 
Fiscal Year
(In thousands)
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Net cash provided by operating activities
 
$
8,360

 
$
162,429

 
$
28,903

Net cash used in investing activities
 
$
(309,239
)
 
$
(153,178
)
 
$
(220,067
)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
 
$
498,566

 
$
294,068

 
$
(75,708
)

Operating Activities

Net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2014 was $8.4 million and was primarily the result of: (i) a net income of $183.1 million; (ii) a $205.5 million decrease in prepaid expenses and other assets driven by a decline in deferred costs related to the Solar Star Projects; (iii) net non-cash charges of $186.0 million related to depreciation, non-cash interest charges, and stock based compensation; (iv) $45.8 million increase in accounts payable and other accrued liabilities; and (v) $21.7 million net increase in deferred income taxes and other liabilities. This was partially offset by: (i) $225.2 million decrease in billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings driven by a decline related to the Solar Star Projects; (ii) $155.3 million increase in costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings driven by an increase related to the Solar Star Projects; (iii) $94.3 million increase in long-term financing receivables related to our net investment in sales-type leases; (iv) $68.2 million increase in project assets primarily related to our Quinto Solar Energy project; (v) $26.3 million increase in advance payments made to suppliers; (vi) $31.5 million increase in accounts receivable; (vii) $23.5 million decrease in customer advances; and (viii) $9.4 million net change in other operating assets.

Net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2013 was $162.4 million and was primarily the result of: (i) a net income of $33.6 million; (ii) a $120.6 million increase in accounts payable and other accrued liabilities; (iii) a $83.1 million increase in billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings; and (iv) other net non-cash charges of $142.6 million primarily related to depreciation, non-cash interest charges, and stock based compensation, which includes a gain of $52.0 million on contract termination; and (v) other net changes in operating assets and liabilities of $4.1 million. This was partially offset by: (i) an increase of $107.5 million in long-term financing receivables, net related to our net investment in sales-type leases; (ii) a $28.3 million increase in inventory and project assets for construction of future and current projects primarily in North America; (iii) an increase in accounts receivable of $53.8 million; and (iv) an increase of $31.9 million in additional advance payments made to suppliers.

Net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2012 was $28.9 million and was primarily the result of: (i) a non-cash loss of $77.8 million on retirement of property, plant and equipment as primarily the result of our restructuring plan regarding Fab 1 consolidation and changes in the deployment plan for our next generation of solar cell technology; (ii) a $65.7 million increase in customer advance due to additional prepayments received from AUOSP; (iii) non-cash impairment charges totaling $59.6 million associated with goodwill and other intangible asset impairment in the third quarter of fiscal 2012; (iv) a $54.7 million increase in billings in excess of costs and estimated earnings related to contractual timing of system project billings; (v) other net changes in operating assets and liabilities of $126.5 million; and (vi) $207.3 million of other, net non-cash charges primarily attributable to depreciation and amortization, and stock based compensation. This was partially offset by (i) a net loss of $352.0 million; (ii) increases in prepaid expense and other assets of $73.7 million primarily related to deferred costs associated with several large utility-scale solar projects under construction in North America and deferred costs associated with solar power systems to be leased; (iii) an increase of $62.4 million in long-term financing receivables, net related to our net investment in sales-type leases; (iv) a $50.6 million gain in connection with our former share lending arrangement with LBIE which was classified as cash from financing activities (see below); and (v) an increase in project assets of $23.4 million for construction of future and current projects primarily in North America.

Investing Activities

Net cash used in investing activities in fiscal 2014 was $309.2 million, which included: (i) $166.9 million related to capital expenditures primarily related to the expansion of our solar cell manufacturing capacity and costs associated with solar power systems, leased and to be leased; (ii) $97.0 million paid for investments in unconsolidated investees driven by a $72.0 million equity contribution to AUOSP; (iii) $35.1 million paid for acquisitions; and (iv) a $11.6 million increase in restricted cash. This was partially offset by $1.4 million proceeds from maturities of marketable securities.

64



Net cash used in investing activities in fiscal 2013 was $153.2 million, which included: (i) $99.9 million in purchases of marketable securities; (ii) $97.2 million related to costs associated with solar power systems leased and to be leased; (iii) $34.1 million of capital expenditures primarily associated with improvements to our current generation solar cell manufacturing technology; (iv) $21.3 million related to costs associated with solar power systems under the financing method; and (v) $17.8 million paid for investments in unconsolidated investees. This was partially offset by (i) $100.9 million in proceeds from sales or maturities of marketable securities; (ii) $15.5 million of restricted cash released back to us due to expirations of fully cash-collateralized letters of credit under the September 2011 Letter of Credit Facility with Deutsche Bank Trust and transition of outstanding letters of credit into the August 2011 Deutsche Bank facility under which payment of obligations is uncollateralized and guaranteed by Total S.A; and (iii) $0.6 million in proceeds from the sale of equipment to a third-party.

Net cash used in investing activities in fiscal 2012 was $220.1 million, which included (i) $255.2 million related to capital expenditures primarily associated with improvements to our current generation solar cell manufacturing technology, leasehold improvements associated with our San Jose, California office, the build-out of our new solar panel assembly facility in Mexicali, Mexico, and costs associated with solar power systems leased and to be leased; (ii) a $13.8 million strategic equity investment in unconsolidated investees; and (iii) $1.4 million in purchases of marketable securities. This was partially offset by (i) $32.6 million of restricted cash released back to us due to expirations of fully cash-collateralized letters of credit under the September 2011 Letter of Credit Facility with Deutsche Bank Trust and transition of outstanding letters of credit into the August 2011 Deutsche Bank facility under which payment of obligations is guaranteed by Total S.A.; (ii) $17.4 million in proceeds from the sale of our equity interest in our Woongjin Energy joint venture on the open market; and (iii) $0.4 million in proceeds from the sale of equipment to a third-party.

Financing Activities

Net cash provided by financing activities in fiscal 2014 was $498.6 million, which included: (i) $395.3 million in net proceeds from the issuance of our 0.875% convertible debentures due 2021; (ii) $100.7 million of contributions from noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests related to the residential lease program; (iii) $81.9 million of proceeds from issuance of non-recourse debt financing to finance solar power systems and leases under our residential lease program; (iv) $61.5 million in proceeds from issuance of project loans; (v) $46.4 million in net proceeds from sale-leaseback financing arrangements; and (vi) $3.4 million in proceeds from exercise of stock options and excess tax benefit from stock-based compensation. This was partially offset by: (i) $57.5 million in purchases of stock for tax withholding obligations on vested restricted stock; (ii) $42.3 million cash paid to repurchase convertible debt; (iii) a $40.7 million assumption of a project loan by a customer; (iv) $17.1 million in repayments of bank loans, project loans and other debt; (v) $15.7 million of repayments of residential lease financing; (vi) a $12.2 million net payment to settle the 4.75% Bond Hedge and Warrant; and (vii) $5.1 million of distributions to noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests.

Net cash provided by financing activities in fiscal 2013 was $294.1 million, which included: (i) $296.3 million of proceeds, net of issuance costs, from the issuance of our 0.75% debentures during the second quarter of fiscal 2013 ("the 0.75% debentures due 2018"); (ii) $82.4 million from project loans; (iii) $96.4 million of financing proceeds associated with our residential lease program; (iv) $100.0 million of contributions from noncontrolling interests; and (v) $73.1 million of proceeds associated with sale leaseback financing arrangements. This was partially offset by: (i) $290.5 million repayments of our outstanding borrowings primarily under the Credit Agricole revolving credit facility, project loans and other debt; (ii) $34.9 million assumption of project loans by customers; (iii) $19.8 million in purchases of stock for tax withholding obligations on vested restricted stock; and (iv) 8.8 million in repayments of sale leaseback financing.

Net cash used in financing activities in fiscal 2012 was $75.7 million, which included: (i) $169.6 million of cash distributions in connection with the transfer of entities under common control; (ii) $198.6 million paid to fully repurchase the outstanding 1.25% convertible debentures; (iii) repayment of 154.1 million of our outstanding borrowings primarily under the Credit Agricole revolving credit facility; and (iv) $5.7 million in purchases of stock for tax withholding obligations on vested restricted stock. This was partially offset by (i) $163.6 million in proceeds from the sale of 18.6 million shares of our common stock to Total; (ii) drawdowns of $150.0 million under the Credit Agricole revolving credit facility; (iii) $50.6 million of proceeds from the recovery of a claim in connection with our former share lending arrangement with LBIE; (iv) $27.6 million from project loans; and (v) $60.4 million of financing proceeds associated with our residential lease program.

Debt and Credit Sources

Convertible Debentures


65


As of December 28, 2014, an aggregate principal amount of $400.0 million of the 0.875% debentures due 2021 remained issued and outstanding. The 0.875% debentures due 2021 were issued on June 11, 2014. Interest on the 0.875% debentures due 2021 is payable on June 1 and December 1 of each year. Holders are able to exercise their right to convert the debentures at any time into shares of our common stock at an initial conversion price approximately equal to $48.76 per share, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. If not earlier repurchased or converted, the 0.875% debentures due 2021 mature on June 1, 2021. Holders may require us to repurchase all or a portion of their 0.875% debentures due 2021, upon a fundamental change, as described in the related indenture, at a cash repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest. If we undergo a non-stock change of control fundamental change, as described in the related indenture, the 0.875% debentures due 2021 will be subject to redemption at our option, in whole but not in part, for a period of 30 calendar days following a repurchase date relating to the non-stock change of control fundamental change, at a cash redemption price equal to 100% of the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest. Otherwise, the 0.875% debentures due 2021 are not redeemable at our option prior to the maturity date. In the event of certain events of default, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association ("Wells Fargo"), the trustee, or the holders of a specified amount of then-outstanding 0.875% debentures due 2021 will have the right to declare all amounts then outstanding due and payable.

As of December 28, 2014, an aggregate principal amount of $300.0 million of the 0.75% debentures due 2018 remained issued and outstanding. The 0.75% debentures due 2018 were issued on May 29, 2013. Interest on the 0.75% debentures due 2018 is payable on June 1 and December 1 of each year. Holders are able to exercise their right to convert the debentures at any time into shares of our common stock at an initial conversion price equal to $24.95 per share. The applicable conversion rate may be subject to adjustment in certain circumstances. If not earlier converted, the 0.75% debentures due 2018 mature on June 1, 2018. Holders may require us to repurchase all or a portion of their 0.75% debentures due 2018, upon a fundamental change, as described in the related indenture, at a cash repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest. If we undergo a non-stock change of control fundamental change, as described in the related indenture, the 0.75% debentures due 2018 will be subject to redemption at our option, in whole but not in part, for a period of 30 calendar days following a repurchase date relating to the non-stock change of control fundamental change, at a cash redemption price equal to 100% of the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest. Otherwise, the 0.75% debentures due 2018 are not redeemable at our option prior to the maturity date. In the event of certain events of default, Wells Fargo, the trustee, or the holders of a specified amount of then-outstanding 0.75% debentures due 2018 will have the right to declare all amounts then outstanding due and payable.

As of December 28, 2014, an aggregate principal amount of $249.6 million of the 4.50% debentures due 2015 remained issued and outstanding. Interest on the 4.50% debentures is payable on March 15 and September 15 of each year. The 4.50% debentures mature on March 15, 2015. The 4.50% debentures are convertible only into cash, and not into shares of our common stock (or any other securities). As of December 28, 2014, the holders of the 4.50% debentures due 2015 have the right to convert the debentures at any time, based on an initial conversion price of $22.53 per share of our common stock. The conversion price will be subject to adjustment in certain events, such as distributions of dividends or stock splits. Upon conversion, we will deliver an amount of cash calculated by reference to the price of our common stock over the applicable observation period. We may not redeem the 4.50% debentures prior to maturity. Holders may also require us to repurchase all or a portion of their 4.50% debentures upon a fundamental change, as defined in the debenture agreement, at a cash repurchase price equal to 100% of the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest. In the event of certain events of default, such as our failure to make certain payments or perform or observe certain obligations thereunder, Wells Fargo, the trustee, or holders of a specified amount of then-outstanding 4.50% debentures will have the right to declare all amounts then outstanding due and payable. Concurrent with the issuance of the 4.50% debentures, we entered into privately negotiated convertible debenture hedge transactions and warrant transactions (the "4.50% Warrants") which represent a call spread overlay with respect to the 4.50% debentures (the "CSO2015"), assuming full performance of the counterparties and 4.50% Warrants strike prices in excess of the conversion price of the 4.50% debentures.  Please see "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to our Debt and Equity Securities—Conversion of our outstanding 0.75% debentures, 0.875% debentures, our warrants related to our outstanding 4.50% debentures, and future substantial issuances or dispositions of our common stock or other securities, could dilute ownership and earnings per share or cause the market price of our stock to decrease."

Mortgage Loan Agreement with IFC

On May 6, 2010, we entered into a mortgage loan agreement with IFC. Under the loan agreement, we borrowed $75.0 million and are required to repay the amount borrowed starting two years after the date of borrowing, in 10 equal semiannual installments over the following 5 years. We are required to pay interest of LIBOR plus 3% per annum on outstanding borrowings; a front-end fee of 1% on the principal amount of borrowings at the time of borrowing; and a commitment fee of 0.5% per annum on funds available for borrowing and not borrowed. We may prepay all or a part of the outstanding principal, subject to a 1% prepayment premium. We have pledged certain assets as collateral supporting repayment obligations.
  

66


As of December 28, 2014, we had $47.5 million outstanding under the mortgage loan agreement. Additionally, in accordance with the terms of the mortgage loan agreement, we are required to establish a debt service reserve account which shall contain the amount, as determined by IFC, equal to the aggregate principal and interest due on the next succeeding interest payment date after such date. As of December 28, 2014, we had restricted cash and cash equivalents of $9.2 million related to the IFC debt service reserve.

Loan Agreement with California Enterprise Development Authority ("CEDA")

On December 29, 2010, we borrowed from CEDA the proceeds of the $30.0 million aggregate principal amount of CEDA's tax-exempt Recovery Zone Facility Revenue Bonds (SunPower Corporation - Headquarters Project) Series 2010 (the "Bonds") maturing April 1, 2031 under a loan agreement with CEDA. Certain of our obligations under the loan agreement were contained in a promissory note dated December 29, 2010 issued by us to CEDA, which assigned the promissory note, along with all right, title and interest in the loan agreement, to Wells Fargo, as trustee, with respect to the Bonds for the benefit of the holders of the Bonds. The Bonds bear interest at a fixed-rate of 8.50% per annum.

As of December 28, 2014, the $30.0 million aggregate principal amount of the Bonds was classified as "Long-term debt" in our Consolidated Balance Sheets.

July 2013 Revolving Credit Facility with Credit Agricole

On July 3, 2013, we entered into a revolving credit agreement with Credit Agricole, as administrative agent, and certain financial institutions ("the July 2013 revolving credit facility"), under which we may borrow up to $250.0 million. On August 26, 2014, the Company entered into an amendment to the revolving credit facility that extends, among other things, the maturity date of the facility from July 3, 2016 to August 26, 2019 (the "Maturity Date"). Amounts borrowed may be repaid and reborrowed until the Maturity Date. The revolving credit facility allows us to request increases to the available capacity of the revolving credit facility to an aggregate of $300.0 million, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions. The revolving credit facility includes representations, covenants, and events of default customary for financing transactions of this type. The revolving credit facility was entered into in conjunction with the delivery by Total S.A. of a guarantee of our obligations under the facility. On January 31, 2014, (i) our obligations under the revolving credit facility became secured by a pledge of certain accounts receivable and inventory, (ii) certain of our subsidiaries entered into guaranties of the revolving credit facility, and (iii) Total S.A.'s guarantee of our obligations under the revolving credit facility expired (collectively, the "Restructuring").

We are required to pay interest on outstanding borrowings under the facility and fees of (a) with respect to any LIBOR rate loan, an amount ranging from 1.50% to 2.00% (depending on our leverage ratio from time to time) plus the LIBOR rate divided by a percentage equal to one minus the stated maximum rate of all reserves required to be maintained against "Eurocurrency liabilities" as specified in Regulation D; (b) with respect to any alternate base rate loan, an amount ranging from 0.50% to 1.00% (depending on our leverage ratio from time to time) plus the greater of (1) the prime rate, (2) the Federal Funds rate plus 0.50%, and (3) the one-month LIBOR rate plus 1%; and (c) a commitment fee ranging from 0.25% to 0.35% (depending on our leverage ratio from time to time) per annum on funds available for borrowing and not borrowed.

As of December 28, 2014, the Company had no outstanding borrowings under the revolving credit facility.

August 2011 Letter of Credit Facility with Deutsche Bank

On August 9, 2011, we entered into a letter of credit facility agreement with Deutsche Bank, as issuing bank and as administrative agent, and certain financial institutions. Payment of obligations under the letter of credit facility is guaranteed by Total S.A. pursuant to the Credit Support Agreement between us and Total S.A. The letter of credit facility provides for the issuance, upon our request, of letters of credit by the issuing banks thereunder in order to support certain of our obligations, in an aggregate amount not to exceed $878.0 million for the period from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. Aggregate letter of credit amounts may be increased upon the agreement of the parties but, otherwise, may not exceed (i) $936.0 million for the period from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015, and (ii) $1.0 billion for the period from January 1, 2016 through June 28, 2016. Each letter of credit issued under the letter of credit facility must have an expiration date no later than the second anniversary of the issuance of that letter of credit, provided that up to 15% of the outstanding value of the letters of credit may have an expiration date of between two and three years from the date of issuance.

As of December 28, 2014, letters of credit issued under the August 2011 letter of credit facility with Deutsche Bank totaled $654.7 million.


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September 2011 Letter of Credit Facility with Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas (together, "Deutsche Bank Trust")

On September 27, 2011, we entered into a letter of credit facility with Deutsche Bank Trust which provides for the issuance, upon request by us, of letters of credit to support our obligations in an aggregate amount not to exceed $200.0 million. Each letter of credit issued under the facility is fully cash-collateralized and we have entered into a security agreement with Deutsche Bank Trust, granting them a security interest in a cash collateral account established for this purpose.

As of December 28, 2014 letters of credit issued under the Deutsche Bank Trust facility amounted to $1.6 million, which were fully collateralized with restricted cash as classified on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

Project Debt

On October 17, 2014, we, through a wholly-owned subsidiary (the "Project Company"), entered into an approximately $377.0 million credit facility with Santander Bank, N.A., Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and Credit Agricole (the "Quinto Credit Facility") in connection with the planned construction of the approximately 135 MW Quinto Solar Energy Project, located in Merced County, California (the "Quinto Project"). 

 The Quinto Credit Facility includes approximately $318.0 million in construction loan commitments and approximately $59.0 million in letter of credit commitments. Principal and accrued interest on the construction loans are convertible into term loans following the end of the construction period.  The Quinto Credit Facility matures at the end of the seventh year following the term loan conversion, with semi-annual principal payments computed on a 19-year amortization schedule and a balloon payment at maturity. Generally, borrowings under the Quinto Credit Facility will bear interest of (a) with respect to any LIBOR rate loan, either 1.625% or 1.875% (until December 31, 2019 and on December 31, 2019 and thereafter, respectively) plus the LIBOR rate divided by a percentage equal to one minus the stated maximum rate of all reserves required to be maintained against "Eurocurrency Liabilities" as specified in Regulation D and (b) with respect to any alternate base rate loan, either 0.625% or 0.875% (until December 31, 2019 and on December 31, 2019 and thereafter, respectively) plus the greater of (1) the prime rate, (2) the Federal Funds rate plus 0.50%, and (3) the one-month LIBOR rate plus 1%. In addition, a commitment fee of 0.50% per annum is charged on funds available for borrowing and not borrowed. All outstanding indebtedness under the Quinto Credit Facility may be voluntarily prepaid in whole or in part without premium or penalty, other than customary breakage costs. We have committed to invest approximately $139 million of equity in the Quinto Project Company, with such investments to be made over time in connection with the completion of project development milestones. The Quinto Credit Facility is secured by the assets of, and equity in, the Project Company, but is otherwise non-recourse to us and our affiliates. The Quinto Credit Facility contains certain affirmative and negative covenants that limit or restrict, subject to certain exceptions, the ability of the Project Company to do certain things including the incurrence of indebtedness or liens, payment of dividends, merging or consolidating, transactions with affiliates or changing the nature of its business.

Proceeds from the Quinto Credit Facility will be used primarily to fund the construction of the Quinto Project under a turnkey EPC agreement between the Project Company and SunPower Corporation, Systems, our wholly-owned subsidiary.

As of December 28, 2014 we had outstanding borrowings of $61.5 million under the Quinto Credit Facility.

Liquidity

As of December 28, 2014, we had unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of $956.2 million as compared to $762.5 million as of December 29, 2013. Our cash balances are held in numerous locations throughout the world and as of December 28, 2014, we had approximately $406.8 million held outside of the United States. This offshore cash is used to fund operations of our EMEA and APAC business units as well as non-U.S. manufacturing operations, which require local payment for product materials and other expenses.  The amounts held outside of the United States represent the earnings of our foreign subsidiaries which, if repatriated to the United States under current law, would be subject to United States federal and state tax less applicable foreign tax credits. Repatriation of earnings that have not been subjected to U.S. or foreign withholding tax and that have been indefinitely reinvested outside the U.S. could result in additional United States federal income tax or foreign withholding tax payments in future years.

On July 5, 2010, we formed our AUOSP joint venture. Under the terms of the joint venture agreement, we and AU Optronics Singapore Pte. Ltd. ("AUO") each own 50% of AUOSP. We are each obligated to provide additional funding to AUOSP in the future. Under the joint venture agreement, each shareholder agreed to contribute additional amounts to the joint venture through 2014 amounting to $169.0 million, or such lesser amount as the parties may mutually agree (see the Contractual Obligations table below). However, AUOSP's $300 million secured loan facility in connection with Fab 3A

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includes a covenant that requires the joint venture partners to make certain minimum equity injections in the beginning of fiscal 2015. In addition, if AUOSP, or either shareholder requests additional equity financing to AUOSP, then the shareholders will each be required to make additional cash contributions of up to $50.0 million in the aggregate. See also "Part I. Item 1A. Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Operations—If we experience interruptions in the operation of our solar cell production lines, or we are not successful in operating our joint venture AUOSP, our revenue and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected."

Our 4.50% debentures due 2015 are convertible into cash. Under the terms of the 4.50% Warrants, we sold to affiliates of certain of the initial purchasers of the 4.50% cash convertible debentures warrants to acquire, subject to anti-dilution adjustments, up to 11.1 million shares of our common stock. The bond hedge and warrants described in "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 11. Debt and Credit Sources" represent a call spread overlay with respect to the 4.50% debentures. Assuming full performance by the counterparties (and 4.50% Warrants strike prices in excess of the conversion price of the 4.50% debentures), the transactions effectively reduce our potential payout over the principal amount on the 4.50% debentures upon conversion of the 4.50% debentures.

We expect total capital expenditures related to purchases of property, plant and equipment in the range of $300 million to $350 million in fiscal 2015 in order to increase our manufacturing capacity, improve our current and next generation solar cell manufacturing technology, and other projects. In addition, we expect to invest a significant amount of capital to develop solar power systems and plants for sale to customers. The development of solar power plants can require long periods of time and substantial initial investments. Our efforts in this area may consist of all stages of development, including land acquisition, permitting, financing, construction, operation and the eventual sale of the projects. We often choose to bear the costs of such efforts prior to the final sale to a customer, which involves significant upfront investments of resources (including, for example, large transmission deposits or other payments, which may be non-refundable), land acquisition, permitting, legal and other costs, and in some cases the actual costs of constructing a project, in advance of the signing of PPAs and EPC contracts and the receipt of any revenue, much of which is not recognized for several additional months or years following contract signing. Any delays in disposition of one or more projects could have a negative impact on our liquidity.

Certain of our customers also require performance bonds issued by a bonding agency or letters of credit issued by financial institutions, which are returned to us upon satisfaction of contractual requirements. If there is a contractual dispute with the customer, the customer may withhold the security or make a draw under such security, which could have an adverse impact on our liquidity. Obtaining letters of credit may require adequate collateral. All letters of credit issued under our August 2011 Deutsche Bank facility are guaranteed by Total S.A. pursuant to the Credit Support Agreement. Our September 2011 letter of credit facility with Deutsche Bank Trust is fully collateralized by restricted cash, which reduces the amount of cash available for operations. As of December 28, 2014, letters of credit issued under the Deutsche Bank Trust facility amounted to $1.6 million which were fully collateralized with restricted cash on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

In fiscal 2011, we launched our residential lease program with dealers in the United States, in partnership with a third-party financial institution, which allows customers to obtain SunPower systems under lease agreements up to 20 years, subject to financing availability. We have entered into facilities with financial institutions that will provide financing to support additional residential solar lease projects. Under the terms of certain programs we receive upfront payments for periods under which the third-party financial institution has agreed to assume collection risk for certain residential leases. Changes in the amount or timing of upfront payments received from the financial institutions may have an impact on our cash position within the next twelve months. The normal collection of monthly rent payments for leases placed in service is not expected to have a material impact on our cash position within the next twelve months. We have entered into facilities with third-party investors under which both parties will invest in entities that hold SunPower solar power systems and leases with residential customers. We determined that we hold a controlling interest in these less-than-wholly-owned entities and have fully consolidated these entities as a result (see "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data—Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 6. Leasing"). As of December 28, 2014, we have entered into a total of seven facilities with third-party investors and received $100.7 million in contributions from investors under the related facility agreements. Additionally, during fiscal 2014, we entered into two long-term non-recourse loans to finance solar power systems and leases under our residential lease program. The loans have a 17-year term. In fiscal 2014, we drew down $81.9 million of proceeds, net of issuance costs, under the loan agreements. As of December 28, 2014, the short-term and long-term balances of the loans were $1.5 million and $80.4 million, respectively. We are actively arranging additional third-party financing for our residential lease program; however, due to the general challenging credit markets we may be unable to arrange additional financing partners for our residential lease program in future periods, which could have a negative impact on our sales. In the unlikely event that we enter into a material number of additional leases without promptly obtaining corresponding third-party financing, our cash and working capital could be negatively impacted.


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We believe that our current cash, cash equivalents and cash expected to be generated from operations will be sufficient to meet our working capital and fund our committed capital expenditures over the next 12 months, including the development and construction of solar power systems and plants and repayment of our current indebtedness, including our 4.50% debentures due 2015 (described above). In addition, we have $250 million available to us under our revolving credit facility with Credit Agricole. However, there can be no assurance that our liquidity will be adequate over time. A significant portion of our revenue is generated from a limited number of customers and large projects and our inability to execute these projects, or to collect from these customers or for these projects, would have a significant negative impact on our business. Our capital expenditures and use of working capital may be greater than we expect if we decide to make additional investments in the development and construction of solar power plants and sales of power plants and associated cash proceeds are delayed, or if we decide to accelerate increases in our manufacturing capacity internally or through capital contributions to joint ventures. We require project financing in connection with the construction of solar power plants, which financing may not be available on terms acceptable to us. In addition, we could in the future make additional investments in our joint ventures or guarantee certain financial obligations of our joint ventures, which could reduce our cash flows, increase our indebtedness and expose us to the credit risk of our joint ventures. See also "Risks Related to Our Sales Channels—A limited number of customers and large projects are expected to continue to comprise a significant portion of our revenues and any decrease in revenue from these customers or projects, payments of liquidated damages, or an increase in related expenses, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition," and "Risks Related to Our Liquidity—We may be unable to generate sufficient cash flows or obtain access to external financing necessary to fund our operations and make adequate capital investments as planned due to the general economic environment and the continued market pressure driving down the average selling prices of our solar power products, among other factors." under the caption "Item 1A. Risk Factors."

As of December 28, 2014, an aggregate principal amount of $249.6 million of our 4.50% debentures due 2015 remain issued and outstanding and are classified as short-term debt on our Consolidated Balance Sheet. If utilized, we have $250.0 million available to us under our revolving credit facility with Credit Agricole and may request increases to the available capacity of the revolving credit facility to an aggregate of $300.0 million, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions. Proceeds from our revolving credit facility with Credit Agricole may be used for general corporate purposes. However, there are no assurances that we will have sufficient available cash to repay our indebtedness or we will be able to refinance such indebtedness on similar terms to the expiring indebtedness. If our capital resources are insufficient to satisfy our liquidity requirements, we may seek to sell additional equity securities or debt securities or obtain other debt financing. The current economic environment, however, could limit our ability to raise capital by issuing new equity or debt securities on acceptable terms, and lenders may be unwilling to lend funds on acceptable terms that would be required to supplement cash flows to support operations. The sale of additional equity securities or convertible debt securities would result in additional dilution to our stockholders (and potential for further dilution upon the exercise of warrants or the conversion of convertible debt) and may not be available on favorable terms or at all, particularly in light of the current conditions in the financial and credit markets. Additional debt would result in increased expenses and would likely impose new restrictive covenants which may be similar or different than those restrictions contained in the covenants under our current loan agreements and debentures. In addition, financing arrangements, including project financing for our solar power plants and letters of credit facilities, may not be available to us, or may not be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us.
 

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Contractual Obligations

The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of December 28, 2014:
 
 
 
 
Payments Due by Fiscal Period
(In thousands)
 
Total
 
2015
 
2016-2017
 
2018-2019
 
Beyond 2019
Convertible debt, including interest1
 
$
982,341

 
$
257,870

 
$
11,500

 
$
307,944

 
$
405,027

IFC mortgage loan, including interest2
 
49,736

 
16,269

 
30,964

 
2,503

 

CEDA loan, including interest3
 
71,438

 
2,550

 
5,100

 
5,100

 
58,688

Quinto credit facility, including interest
 
72,033

 
1,646

 
8,963

 
6,516

 
54,908

Other debt, including interest4
 
152,901

 
7,882

 
15,866

 
15,791

 
113,362

Future financing commitments5
 
171,890