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.

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“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.