Suntech Increasing Its North American Solar Presence

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd (NYSE: STP) and Calisolar Inc have signed a Letter of Intent to construct a solar silicon manufacturing plant in Ontario Canada.
Once completed, the manufacturing facility will significantly expand the existing manufacturing operations in Vaughan, Ontario, doubling total employment at Calisolar’s subsidiary, 6N Silicon. Suntech will contribute financing and purchase solar silicon produced by Calisolar at the new manufacturing facility to use in production of Suntech solar panels.
Suntech says the partnership will accelerate the development of the solar industry in Ontario and meet the growing solar demand across Canada. 
According to Calisolar CEO Sandra Beach Lin, "Together with Suntech we will be able to expand our operations in Ontario and bring long-term, sustainable jobs to continue to serve this exciting, emerging market for solar energy."
Earlier this month, Suntech opened its first US solar panel manufacturing plant across the border in Goodyear, Arizona. The facility will have a initial annual production capacity of 30MW, but the company is already making plans to expand the facility to 50MW early next year and targets to employ more than 150 people by the end of 2011. Suntech has a goal of reaching 120MW of annual production capacity at the plant.
At the grand opening of the plant, Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech’s founder, chairman, and CEO, said that on average the solar industry employs about 15 to 30 people for every megawatt of installed solar capacity – up to 8 times more than the traditional energy industry.
According to Steven Chan, President of Suntech America, the USA division of the company is growing so rapidly that in the third quarter of 2010 alone, Suntech shipped more than its total 2009 shipments to the North American market.