Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd.
) will introduce a new generation of its successful 72-cell module
for commercial and utility-scale electricity generation in Europe.
The module variant with 15.7% efficiency is ideally suited for
large-scale commercial projects seeking a low levelized cost of
energy (LCOE). In addition, the new Ve-Series modules feature a
slim frame design lowering storage and shipment costs by up to 16%.
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The new modules will be available throughout Europe starting in
November 2012. Suntech's SuperPoly technology achieves high
efficiency by utilizing an advanced ingot casting process, which
combines the benefits of mono-crystalline silicon wafers (high
efficiency) and poly-crystalline silicon wafers (square wafers and
better temperature performance) into one product. With 72 six-inch
cells, the new 1956x992x40mm module boasts one of the highest fill
factors in the industry and lowers project installation costs.
An improved design reduces frame thickness from 50mm to 40mm,
providing a 1.2 kg reduction in total module weight, without
compromising on module stability or durability. The module is
certified to withstand extreme wind (3,800 Pascal) and snow (5,400
Pascal) loads. This superior frame design not only facilitates
efficient module handling and installation, but allows for more
modules to be installed on rooftops with tight weight constraint,
highly relevant for many industrial projects.
In addition, a new texturing process has changed the cell
appearance of the SuperPoly Ve-Series. Whereas former SuperPoly
cells showed both mono- and poly-silicon parts, the new cell's
appearance is similar to standard polycrystalline cells while
maintaining the SuperPoly advantages such as higher efficiency. The
new product line also features Suntech's industry-leading 25-year
power output warranty, with positive power tolerance, and a
workmanship warranty of 10 years.
Recently, in September, Suntech Power Holdings announced
preliminary financial results for the second quarter ended June 30,
2012. In the reported quarter, greater demand from European
markets, China, Japan and Australia drove sequential shipment
growth. As a result, Suntech's shipments of PV products for the
quarter increased by approximately 33% from the first quarter of
2012, higher than the previous guidance of a 20% increase in PV
In the third quarter of 2012, Suntech expects PV shipments to be
relatively flat with the second quarter of 2012. Suntech now
expects 2012 annual PV shipments to be in the range of 1.8GW to
2.0GW, compared with its previous guidance of 2.1GW to 2.5GW.
Based in Wuxi, China, Suntech Power Holdings Company Ltd. is a
solar energy company that designs, develops, manufactures and
markets a variety of PV products, including a broad range of
value-added building-integrated photovoltaics, or BIPV, products.
The company manufactures silicon wafers and ingots used in
manufacturing its PV cells (both monocrystalline and multi
crystalline) and modules. Suntech's PV system integration services
include the design, installation, commissioning and testing of PV
systems. Suntech's PV system integration services include planning,
engineering, procurement of permits and equipment, construction
management, monitoring and maintenance.
Suntech Power's geographically diversified customer base insulates
it from risk. Other positive factors for Suntech include ongoing
expansion programs, higher conversion efficiency through its Pluto
technology-enabled modules, subsidy program in China, and improving
However, the positives are overshadowed by fears of tepid module
demand in Europe, rising competition, the volatile Euro and the
financial stability of its customers. The company presently retains
a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) that corresponds with our
long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.
Suntech's competitors in the solar industry are
First Solar Inc.