Suntech Launches New Solar Product Platform

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), a leading manufacturer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules launched a new product platform called Reliathon(TM).

Suntech says the integrated product platform can replace the industry’s current ‘patchwork’ approach to designing large-scale systems. Reliathon combines Suntech module innovations, a new utility-grade warranty for the Suntech module, as well as pre-agreed preferential pricing and business terms with inverter and tracking companies Advanced Energy, Array Technologies, Satcon, Siemens Industry and SMA.

Suntech says the new product will reduce total system costs as much as 10% and offers increases in revenue potential, with 13.8% more power warranted over the lifetime of the system

The new Suntech Reliathon 270-watt module includes self-aligning panels, integrated grounding, and wire management, as well as a new "Two-in-One" design, with two 36-cell regions featuring independent circuits that can create better output on fixed tilt systems in early morning and late afternoon. 

Suntech said all module innovations result in far less labor time needed to install Reliathon systems, as well as significant reductions in material costs.

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack(TM) system was designed specifically for Suntech Reliathon, and makes use of two motors per MW AC versus the typical four motors per MW, further reducing the material costs of the system.

The Reliathon module includes a 25-year utility-grade warranty offering a 12-year limited product warranty (extended from 5 years) and a 25-year peak power performance warranty now based on annual degradation instead of 12 and 25-year step-downs. 

Overall, the new terms warrant an 85% power output level at 25 years.

Power plant customers purchasing a Reliathon system will have access to customized Reliathon partner products at preferred pricing and pre-negotiated business terms offered by Advanced Energy (Nasdaq: AEIS), Array Technologies, Satcon (Nasdaq: SATC), Siemens Industry (NYSE: SI) and SMA.

"To make the promising utility scale pipeline a reality, innovation and simplicity have to be driven into every level of the solar value chain — especially installation, an area that offers huge opportunities for reduction of Balance of Plant costs," said Steven Chan, Chief Strategy Officer, Suntech. "Reliathon gives our customers exactly what they have requested: greater power output at lower cost, combined with a simplified development process."

With Reliathon, Engineering, Procurement and Construction companies, utilities and project developers have a designated path for vendor selection as they design their large-scale systems. Customers can select a variety of Reliathon components from the selected Suntech partners, each offering particular advantages for specific installation types, as they plan their power plants.

"Suntech has listened to the utility market and come through with innovations that simply make sense," said Frank Greb, Vice President and General Manager of leading solar engineering and construction firm RMT, Inc. "Reliathon makes it more cost effective, not to mention easier, to get utility-scale projects up and running."

Reliathon modules and system components will be available in the United States for immediate orders with shipment scheduled in 2Q10, and have already been included in over 1 gigawatt (GW) of US solar project bids.

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