Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. will stop two of three production shifts and reduce its workforce at its Goodyear, Ariz., solar panel manufacturing facility.
According to the company, the slowdown in production is being implemented due to global oversupply and higher production costs related to recent import tariffs imposed by the U.S. government.
The Goodyear facility's annual production throughput will decrease from about 45 MW to 15 MW, and roughly 50 positions will be eliminated. ‘We will continue to produce solar panels in Arizona to meet the needs of our customers – particularly those who are willing to pay a premium for U.S.-manufactured products,’ says E.L. McDaniel, managing director of Suntech America.
On Nov. 7, the U.S. International Trade Commission voted to impose unilateral tariffs of 35.97% on Suntech solar cells produced in China. Solar cells are a key component used at Suntech's Goodyear production facility, the company explains. The rising costs of components increases the costs of manufacturing solar panels in the U.S. Tariffs on solar cells come in addition to tariffs imposed by the U.S. government in 2011 on aluminum frames, another key input for solar panel manufacturing, Suntech adds.