Solar power is a fast-growing industry in sunny Arizona, and the world’s largest producer of solar panels – Suntech Power Holdings – recently announced that it has added a third production shift at its new solar panel manufacturing facility in Goodyear, bringing another 30 solar jobs to the Grand Canyon state.
This means that the Goodyear factory will now operate around the clock, employing a total of 107 people. The new, third-shift employees completed their job training earlier this month, after weeks spent working side-by-side with the facility’s current first and second production shift workers. With this expansion, the facility will now produce around 50MW in solar power capacity a year, generated by the 15,000 solar panels it produces each month.
Suntech’s Goodyear manufacturing plant opened in October 2010 with an initial 30MW of production capacity and 40 employees. The operation has grown steadily since, taking on a second shift in January 2011, and remains on-track to hit its target of employing 150 workers 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,” said Steven Chan, President of Suntech America, in a statement.