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Suntech to build its first US solar PV manufacturing plant in Arizona, USA

Suntech Power Holdings Co. says its first US solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing plant with a production capacity of 30 MW for the growing North American solar market, could be located in the Greater Phoenix, Arizona area.

The solar PV manufacturing plant is expected to begin production in the third quarter of 2010.

The plans could make Suntech the first Chinese cleantech provider to bring green manufacturing jobs to America.

Suntech selected the Greater Phoenix area for its solar PV manufacturing plant because of Arizona's leadership in research through Arizona State University, and statewide renewable energy policies, particularly its Renewable Energy Standard (RES) and distributed generation set-aside, as well as a supportive local business climate represented by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, the solar manufacturer says.

Initially starting with 30 MW of solar PV module production capacity, the Suntech plant is configured for growth to respond to the expected expansion of the US solar market in the coming years.

"Suntech has been a leader to watch for some time, and its decision to bring manufacturing here to the US is a great sign of the increasingly important collaboration between Chinese and American leaders in the renewable energy industry, as well as the potential for growth of green jobs in countries that implement smart, supportive policies," says Dan Kammen, Professor in the Energy and Resources Group and Director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.

Suntech's Chairman and CEO Dr. Zhengrong Shi adds: "This is the first step in what I see as a long-term, strategic investment in the North American market.

“Over the last two years we have grown our US team to over 60 employees. As a result of that effort, we have developed a network of over 200 solar dealers and integrators installing Suntech products and are actively involved with a number of large-scale solar project developers serving the utility market.

“We also have developed strong partnerships with US companies such as MEMC of Pasadena, Texas, our largest supplier of silicon wafers used in our modules. The leadership shown by the US government in advancing renewable energy will only improve the environment for further investments in the coming years."

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