Suntech unveils plans to build its first U.S. factory

RP news wires
Tags: energy management, green manufacturing, manufacturing

From the AZ4Solar Symposium on January 27, Suntech Power Holdings Company Ltd., the world's largest crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced that the company's first U.S. manufacturing plant will be located in the City of Goodyear, Ariz. The Suntech Goodyear factory will initially employ more than 70 local residents and is designed as a showcase for the company's latest-generation solar electricity manufacturing technologies and equipment. It will begin with a production capacity of 30 megawatts and has the potential to expand to over 120 MW, giving Suntech the ability to respond to the rapidly growing demand for solar throughout the United States.

As the first China-based cleantech company to bring manufacturing jobs to the United States, Suntech carefully reviewed communities across the country to find the best possible location for its first domestic plant. Suntech selected Goodyear based on several factors, including the State of Arizona's progressive renewable energy standards and solar policies for both utility-scale and rooftop installations, the Greater Phoenix Area's supportive business climate, and the availability of local manufacturing-ready facilities.

"I am pleased to welcome Suntech to Arizona, and commend the company for choosing Goodyear as the site for its solar manufacturing operation," said Governor Brewer. "I am very serious about establishing Arizona as a leader in the renewable energy sector – we offer a strategic location with a highly skilled workforce, low payroll taxes, and, now, the right incentive program to make business sense."

Suntech's Goodyear plant will serve as a showcase for the company's latest solar electricity manufacturing technologies, facilitating collaboration with similar efforts ongoing at nearby Arizona State University. In addition the company will deploy state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing equipment that will ensure the highest levels of efficiency and output of Suntech's module manufacturing process. Plans also include constructing solar parking structures on the site that will generate electricity for use in the plant as well as provide shaded parking for employees.

"I'm thrilled that Suntech, one of the world's leaders of innovative energy solutions, has chosen to establish its first North American plant here in Goodyear," said James M. Cavanaugh, Mayor of Goodyear. "Suntech will bring new employment opportunities in this emerging industry to Goodyear and all of Arizona."

"Taking the step to bring manufacturing to the U.S. is a strategic move for our North American business, and we're focused on making the most of our investment," said Steven Chan, chief strategy officer, Suntech. "With our Goodyear facility, we have the opportunity to design a truly innovative module manufacturing center that can accelerate innovation, allowing us to deploy new products designed to meet the burgeoning U.S. solar market. Having a facility here in the US will also reduce the time, costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with shipping panels from overseas."

Manufacturing in Suntech's Goodyear plant will begin in September 2010.

About Suntech
Suntech Power Holdings Company Ltd. is the world's leading solar energy company as measured by production output of crystalline silicon solar modules. Suntech designs, develops, manufactures and markets premium-quality, high-output, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar products for electric power applications in the residential, commercial, industrial, and public utility sectors. Suntech offers an extensive range of customer-centric innovations, including its patent-pending Pluto technology for crystalline silicon solar cells, which improves power output by up to 12 percent compared to conventional production methods, its Reliathon module and platform, the industry's first fully integrated utility-scale solar platform, and its broad range of building-integrated solar products.

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