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Suntech Power Holdings Company Ltd., the world's largest crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, announced plans to establish solar energy products manufacturing in the U.S. The company is currently exploring opportunities in several states that could be optimal, cost-effective locations for a production and distribution center as part of its strategy to create a long-term presence within the U.S.
Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's chairman and CEO said, "We believe in the outstanding long-term prospects of the solar energy market in the United States, and we will continue to invest in our ability to meet a substantial portion of that potential growth through in-market manufacturing. A number of favorable developments have led us to this decision, including the dramatic growth in utility demand for large-scale wholesale solar projects, the increasing number of states with incentive programs for customer-owned systems and the federal government's recent stimulus package, all of which will drive steady, long-term growth in demand."
"We plan to make a decision within the next six months as to the location of our U.S. facility based on a variety of criteria, including local manufacturing incentives and long-term policy commitments that create vibrant local markets for our products," added Dr. Shi. "Suntech has invested significant resources in establishing a world-class solar team in the U.S. to service a national dealer network, provide system design and installation advice and support, and develop 10-megawatt and higher solar projects. Initiating manufacturing in the U.S. will drive further growth of green jobs and support the ongoing transition to renewable energy sources."
Using the talent of its KSL-Kuttler subsidiary, which designs and supplies automation equipment for the printed circuit-board industry, Suntech's manufacturing team has created a pilot line to develop low cost, proprietary processes that can be replicated in key countries outside of China, including the U.S. By locating manufacturing facilities close to its customers, Suntech can drastically reduce logistics issues and costs, thereby reducing carbon emissions due to the transport of modules and increasing just-in-time delivery capabilities.