Silicon Valley is hot again, and it’s a good thing for SunPower Corporation, a company which just released the most efficient solar panels to date. Based on the new Gen 2 Solar Cells, the SPR-315 solar panel will get a whopping 22% photovoltaic (PV) efficiency – over 10% more than the standard 7-12%. What does that extra 10% get you? Well according to SunPower, it means 50 percent more power per square foot of roof area. That means you can get just as much power using 1/3 as many panels or 50% more power with the same amount of panels. Unfortunately SunPower hasn’t released a price on the panels, but we’ll find out when they hit the market next spring.

SunPower contines to lead the solar industry with its innovative technology and smart design,” said Peter Ashenbrenner, vice president of marketing and sales. “Our new SPR-315 solar panel breaks the 300 watt power barrier while offering even high efficiency than SunPower’s previous industry leading products.”

The SPR-315 will be on display through the end of the week at the Solar Power 2006 Conference and Expo in San Jose, California.