Suntech plans to expand the capacity of the 117,000sqft facility to 50MW early next year with a target to employ more than 150 people by the end of 2011 for producing Suntech’s 280W Vd-series modules, primarily used for commercial and utility-scale electricity generation.

Suntech intends the facility, which will produce modules for procurement in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects, to reach up to 120MW of annual production capacity to meet the growing demand from the US solar industry.

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council assisted Suntech in selecting Goodyear, Arizona as the chosen site for its manufacturing facility that will bolster solar research collaboration between Suntech and Arizona State University.

Suntech’s new solar module production plant complements Arizona’s policy to meet 15% of its energy consumption with renewable sources by 2025 with distributed generation set-aside.

Suntech America president Steven Chan said that this new facility represents yet another milestone of the company’s ongoing investment in North America.

“The new US manufacturing plant will provide a local platform to meet the burgeoning demand for solar products in the US and Canadian markets, which we expect to exceed 1gW for the first time in 2010,” Chan said.