With a production capacity of 160MW annually, the new facility will develop high efficiency SunPower E20/440 solar panels.

Expected to create up to 150 local jobs, the new facility will feature SunPower’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and operations & management (O&M) offices, consolidating its South African business into one building.

SunPower COO Marty Neese said: "SunPower has a significant presence in the South African solar market, including two large power plants built this year and another one that will begin construction soon.

"By manufacturing our high efficiency solar panels at this new facility, we will not only help the local economy, but continue to deliver clean, renewable energy to this region.

"Our investment in this new plant is part of our commitment to the local South African PV market, and meets our objective to build a sustainable business through local investment and create jobs in the medium and long-term."

The company constructed two ground-mounted solar projects, totaling 33MW, earlier in 2014 near Douglas in the Northern Cape Town province.

SunPower, an affiliate of Total, operates solar panel manufacturing plants in North America, Europe and Asia.