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Suntech Plans to Triple Sales in U.S. Solar Market in 2009

Suntech Power Holdings, the world's largest photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, today announced three initiatives designed to significantly expand its share of the US solar market. The initiatives include:
  • Establishment of a joint venture with MMA Renewable Ventures, forming Gemini Solar Development Company LLC. Gemini Solar will seek to develop, finance, own and operate large-scale PV projects greater than 10 megawatts. Projects built by the joint venture will be co-owned and operated by funds to be formed by Suntech and MMA Renewable Ventures that will also seek to attract third party investors.
  • Acquisition of EI Solutions, a leading California-based commercial solar system integration company. EI Solutions has designed and implemented solar projects for many leading U.S. companies including Google, Disney, Sony Pictures, the North Face, and Puget Sound Energy. The acquisition will enable Suntech to provide complete solar solutions to commercial, utility and government customers in the U.S. The new subsidiary will be named Suntech Energy Solutions and will be headed by Andrew Beebe, EI Solutions' current president.
  • Rapid expansion of Suntech's U.S. dealer network to increase penetration into the residential roof-top and small commercial system solar market and build brand recognition with downstream solar integrators.
Combined, these initiatives will enable Suntech to serve more completely the full breadth of U.S. customers, from residential and commercial building owners to utilities and government. In addition, as Suntech continues to invest in cost reduction technologies, the company is also increasing its efforts to seek out those balance-of-system components that best meet customer demand for a truly integrated offering. This vertical integration will enable Suntech to optimize solar system composition and performance, and drive down costs throughout the solar value chain. As a result of these initiatives, Suntech plans to triple sales to the U.S. in 2009.

"These initiatives mark a new era of growth for Suntech in the U.S.," said Roger Efird, president of Suntech America. "With the acquisition of EI Solutions and our joint venture with MMA Renewable Ventures, we can now offer a fully integrated solar solution to commercial, utility and government customers. This will provide us with a much closer relationship with these customers and enable us to capture a significant portion of the rapidly growing market for larger systems, particularly in the utility sector. At the same time, our rapidly expanding dealer network will allow us to significantly increase our penetration in the residential and small commercial market."

"We see the U.S. market as on the cusp of enormous growth," added Steven Chan, chief strategy officer of Suntech. "An increasing number of states have adopted initiatives to promote the expansion of solar and other renewable energy technologies, and there is broad public support across the political spectrum for a new direction in national energy policy that will drive demand for clean technologies. We are poised to meet that demand with the team we have acquired with EI Solutions, which is among the most experienced and highly regarded in the industry, and our strategic alliance with MMA Renewable Ventures, which has an impressive track record of developing America's largest PV plants."

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