Suntech Power to Set Up Phoenix-Based Solar Factory (STP)

Suntech Power (STP) plans to build a factory in the Phoenix area and start production in the third quarter of 2010.

The company hasn’t settled on the location for the factory yet. That should come "in coming weeks," the company said.

Thefactory would start with a capacity to produce 30 megawatts of solarpanel per year. Suntech executives have said previously that thecompany would ship solar cells from its China manufacturing complex tothe U.S. factory for panel assembly.

It was back in Maythis year when Suntech formally announced its plan to set up a factoryin the United States. In June, Suntech’s Roger Efird said the companywas planning a 100-megawatt factory that would start operating in the first quarter of 2010. The company had narrowed down the list of potential factory sites to Arizona and Texas before deciding on the former.

Thecompany said it’s looking for a factory space of 80,000 to 100,000square feet, which would enable Suntech to add production lines laterif demand from the U.S. market improves.

Despite legislationthat has created financial aid programs this year for manufacturingsolar energy equipment and installing them, the U.S. market hasn’texperienced a dramatic rise in demand. Many analysts and investors saythe full impact of these federal grants and tax incentives won’t likelybe felt until next year.



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