The world’s largest producer of solar panels, Suntech Power, has increased the annual capacity of its new manufacturing facility in Goodyear, Arizona to 50MW. This is the second expansion of the site since it was opened in October 2010 and its new 24/7 operating hours will help raise monthly output to 15,000 panels.
Ramping up of production will add 30 jobs to the payroll, taking Goodyear’s total number of employees to 107. Training for the new recruits was completed on May 13, after several weeks of working alongside the facility's pre-existing staff members. The facility is currently responsible for producing Suntech's 280W panels, which are used for both commercial and utility-scale electricity generation.
“It's a testament to the dedication and professional abilities of Suntech's Goodyear employees that we are ramping up production yet again,” Suntech's Arizona Production Manager, Mike Starr, said. “With growing demand for our US-manufactured panels, we're excited to increase our production capacity and drive growth in Arizona's solar industry.”
“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.”
Since opening with a 30MW capacity and 40 employees last autumn, the 117,000-square-foot Goodyear site has undergone a steady expansion; it took on a second shift in January, and remains on-target to employ 150 by the end of the year.
“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,” added Steven Chan, president of Suntech America. “We want to lead the charge to achieve energy independence in Arizona and the United States.”