Suntech Power Holdings Co., today opened its first U.S. manufacturing plant in Goodyear, Arizona. The new module production facility has an initial 30MW of annual capacity and will employ more than 75 operators, engineers and professionals by the end of 2010. Due to strong interest from customers, Suntech is already making plans to expand the facility to 50MW early next year and targets to employ more than 150 people by the end of 2011.
The 117,000 square foot facility features state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing equipment and will initially focus on producing Suntech's 280W Vd-series modules, primarily used for commercial and utility-scale electricity generation. All modules produced at the facility will be compliant for procurement in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects. Suntech plans to expand the facility, in concert with the growing U.S. solar industry, to reach up to 120MW of annual production capacity. In addition, the local operation will bolster solar research collaboration between Suntech and Arizona State University.
Suntech selected Goodyear based on a combination of factors, including costs, logistics, and statewide renewable energy policies, as well as a supportive local business climate. The Greater Phoenix Economic Council played a key role in assisting Suntech with its selection process. Suntech remains encouraged by Arizona's clear and consistent policy commitment to the growth and development of solar, including the state's policy to meet 15% of its energy consumption with renewable sources by 2025 and distributed generation set-aside.