Suntech Power (STP) Is Supplier For 150MW Sempra Energy Plant

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10:33:12 am on February 7, 2011

Suntech Power (STP) signed a deal with Sempra Energy worth a few hundred million to supply 150MW in solar panels for Sempra’s Mesquite 1 solar project in Arizona.  Sempra had used First Solar’s thin film panels in the past so this is a big win for Suntech’s technology.  The company recently opened a plant in Arizona to manufacture solar panels, but they indicated that most of the panels will come from China.  Last year Suntech quadrupled the number of panels its sold in the US and plans to double shipments this year, so growth in the US should help mitigate the decline in demand in Europe, particularly Germany and Spain.

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Zachry Holdings will be building the solar farm for Sempra which will then sell the electricity to PG&E under a 20 year power purchase agreement.  When completed, the solar plant will produce enough clean electricity to power around 50K homes.  Sempra plans to build another large 100MW solar plant in California, but has not yet named the supplier.  It will be interesting to see if it goes back to First Solar or making a more permanent shift to Suntech’s polysilicon panels.

Shares of STP continue to lag in the solar space, but I really believe this is a beaten down solar stock to keep an eye on that will make a similar move to WFR off the bottom.  The stock has been holding above the 50 day moving average and appears poised to breakout above the 200 day moving average soon.

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