GOODYEAR, Ariz., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest producer of solar panels, has engaged a third production shift at its new solar panel manufacturing facility in Goodyear, Arizona. The expansion adds another 30 solar jobs to Arizona's fast-growing solar economy.
The state-of-the-art module manufacturing facility will now run twenty-four hours per day with 107 employees. The new group of employees completed training on May 13th, after weeks working side-by-side with the facility's existing first and second production shifts. The expansion brings the facility's annualized production throughput to about 50MW, representing 15,000 high-quality solar panels per month.
"It's a testament to the dedication and professional abilities of Suntech's Goodyear employees that we are ramping up production yet again," said Mike Starr, Suntech's Arizona Production Manager. "With growing demand for our U.S.-manufactured panels, we're excited to increase our production capacity and drive growth in Arizona's solar industry."
The 117,000 square foot manufacturing facility features highly-automated manufacturing and product testing equipment and currently produces Suntech's 280W solar panels for commercial and utility-scale electricity generation. All modules produced at the facility are backed by an industry-leading 25-year power output warranty and are compliant for procurement in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Buy American Act projects.
"We're thrilled that the world's largest producer of solar panels continues to make major investments in our future right here in Goodyear," said Goodyear's Mayor, Georgia Lord. "Our city is on the forefront of Arizona's fast-growing solar economy and the global cleantech revolution."
Suntech's Goodyear, Arizona, manufacturing facility was opened in October 2010, initially with 30MW of production capacity and 40 employees. The operation has grown steadily since, taking on a second shift in January 2011, and remains on-target to employ 150 employees by the end of 2011.
"We expect to expand the facility to reach up to 120MW of annual production capacity within the next few years, particularly if Arizona's policy environment continues to nurture the local market," said Steven Chan, President of Suntech America. "We want to lead the charge to achieve energy independence in Arizona and the United States."