Solar Tribune

Suntech to close Arizona production plant


This week, Suntech Power announced it will stop production at its solar panel plant in Goodyear, Arizona on April 3.

Suntech is one of the largest PV panel producers in the world, and only opened the factory in Arizona in late 2010. The factory closure will impact 43 employees.

A statement from the company credits the closure to high production costs “exacerbated by import tariffs on solar cells and aluminum frames imposed by the U.S. government, as well as global solar module oversupply.”

The plant shutdown one part of company’s global restructuring plans, which aim to lower expenses by 20 percent this year.

San Francisco's Sunset Reservoir. Photo Credit: Recurrent Energy

San Francisco’s Sunset Reservoir. Photo Credit: Recurrent Energy

“These are the growing pains of a maturing industry; although it’s a tough time to be a solar manufacturer, there’s never been a better time to be a solar customer,” said Mick McDaniel, Managing Director of Suntech America.

The facility reached its peak production capacity in 2011 at 50MW per year, but scaled back to an output level of only 15MW annually in November 2012.

“Rationalizing production capacity is necessary to improve our manufacturing utilization and help Suntech to return to profitability,” said Suntech CEO David King. “We’re hopeful that these tough decisions will help put Suntech back on track for growth.”

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