Suntech Looking To Build A Manufacturing Plant In The U.S.

Here’s a reversal of fortune that ought to please many Americans. Chinese solar company, Suntech Power (STP) announced plans this morning to build a manufacturing plant in the United States.

Suntech didn’t specify where, or when. It just put the country’s governors on notice, saying:

States or localities with strong economic development initiatives are encouraged to contact Suntech at [email protected] to provide the company with more details and arrange for further discussions.

In other words: “Who’s cutting us the biggest check?”

Suntech has been cutting into market share of California based SunPower, according to reports. It might want to build in the U.S. to deflect any jingoistic criticism it might receiving. It might also just want a good deal. With all the stimulus cash out there, now’s the time to move to the U.S.

So, get on it governors. Sign yourself up for some green collar jobs and in 2012, when the factory is whirring at full tilt, you’ll probably get a bunch of presidential campaign stops to tout the creation of a new manufacturing sector.

Full Release:

SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, May 11 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world’s largest crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, today announced plans to establish solar energy products manufacturing in the U.S. The Company is currently exploring opportunities in several states that could be optimal, cost-effective locations for a production and distribution centre as part of its strategy to create a long-term presence within the U.S.

Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s Chairman and CEO said, “We believe in the outstanding long-term prospects of the solar energy market in the United States, and we will continue to invest in our ability to meet a substantial portion of that potential growth through in-market manufacturing. A number of favourable developments have led us to this decision, including the dramatic growth in utility demand for large-scale wholesale solar projects, the increasing number of states with incentive programs for customer-owned systems and the federal government’s recent stimulus package, all of which will drive steady, long-term growth in demand.”

“We plan to make a decision within the next six months as to the location of our U.S. facility based on a variety of criteria, including local manufacturing incentives and long-term policy commitments that create vibrant local markets for our products,” added Dr. Shi. “Suntech has invested significant resources in establishing a world-class solar team in the U.S. to service a national dealer network, provide system design and installation advice and support, and develop 10MW+ solar projects. Initiating manufacturing in the U.S. will drive further growth of green jobs and support the ongoing transition to renewable energy sources.”

Using the talent of its KSL-Kuttler subsidiary, which designs and supplies automation equipment for the printed circuit-board industry, Suntech’s manufacturing team has created a pilot line to develop low cost, proprietary processes that can be replicated in key countries outside of China, including the U.S. By locating manufacturing facilities close to its customers, Suntech can drastically reduce logistics issues and costs, thereby reducing carbon emissions due to the transport of modules and increasing just-in-time delivery capabilities.

States or localities with strong economic development initiatives are encouraged to contact Suntech at [email protected] to provide the company with more details and arrange for further discussions.

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