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Suntech's Breakthrough Pluto Technology Achieves Efficiencies of 19% on Mono- crystalline PV Cells and 17% on Multi-crystalline PV Cells in Production
--Conversion Efficiencies Independently Verified by the Fraunhofer Institute
SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, March 27, 2009 /PRNewswire-Asia via COMTEX/ -- Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, today announced that it is routinely utilizing the Pluto technology to produce PV cells with conversion efficiencies of approximately 19% on mono-crystalline PV cells and 17% on multi-crystalline PV cells.

Suntech recently sent a number of Pluto PV cells to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Germany for third party verification. The Fraunhofer Institute test results included a mono-crystalline Pluto PV cell with a conversion efficiency of 18.8% and a multi-crystalline Pluto PV cell with a conversion efficiency of 17.2%. Both PV cells were produced on Suntech's 34MW Pluto production line utilizing solar grade silicon wafers.

Dr. Stuart Wenham, Suntech's Chief Technology Officer said, "We are very excited about the performance of the Pluto technology. We are consistently achieving around 19% conversion efficiency on Pluto mono-crystalline PV cells and around 17% on Pluto multi-crystalline PV cells in large scale production, compared to 16.5% and 15.5% respectively using conventional screen-printed technology."

Dr. Wenham added, "The ability of the Pluto technology to significantly improve the conversion efficiency of both mono and multi-crystalline silicon PV cells is one of its unique characteristics. This will give Suntech the flexibility to offer a complete range of high efficiency solar products. In particular, we believe that Suntech's multi-crystalline Pluto modules will be one of the most efficient multi-crystalline silicon PV modules in commercial scale production world-wide."

Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Chairman and CEO said, "Pluto delivers on the key requirements of the solar industry -- high efficiency, high stability, and high power output -- without utilizing higher grades of silicon. With Pluto-enabled Suntech products, our customers will realize improvements in space utilization and reduced balance of system costs, without increasing the cost of production, making Pluto well suited to commercial scale production and roof top applications."

The patent-pending Pluto technology is based on the PERL technology, developed by the University of NSW in Australia, which has achieved a world record efficiency of 25% in the laboratory. Pluto should improve power output by approximately 12% above conventional screen-printed PV cells. Unique texturing technology, with lower reflectivity, ensures more sunlight can be absorbed throughout the day even without direct solar radiation, and thinner metal lines on the top surface reduces shading loss. Suntech's Pluto technology can be applied to a variety of grades of silicon to suit multiple applications and product types.

Dr. Shi added, "The commercialization of the Pluto technology is the result of years of world-class research and development and is a milestone achievement for Suntech. With over 350 professionals in our R&D team spanning three countries, technology is a central element of our strategy to drive the cost of solar towards grid parity without incentives. Aside from developing high conversion efficiency PV cells, our R&D team is also engaged in the development of new solar applications and building integrated products, material and component optimization, encapsulation technology, and power output optimization and stabilization."

Suntech anticipates ongoing enhancement of the Pluto technology and targets to achieve 20% conversion efficiency on mono-crystalline PV cells and 18% on multi-crystalline PV cells within the next two years. Suntech currently has a fully operational 34MW Pluto PV cell line and targets to have a total of 100MW installed Pluto capacity within the next two months. Suntech expects to receive industry certification for Pluto PV modules in the second quarter of 2009 and targets to ship more than 50MW of Pluto modules in 2009. "Pluto" is a trademark of Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.

About Suntech

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP) is the world's leading solar energy company as measured by production output of solar modules. Suntech designs, develops, manufactures, and markets premium-quality, high-output, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar products for electric power applications in the residential, commercial, industrial, and public utility sectors. Suntech's patent-pending Pluto technology for crystalline silicon solar cells improves power output by up to 12% compared to conventional production methods.

Suntech also offers one of the broadest ranges of building-integrated solar products under the MSK Solar Design Line(TM). Suntech designs and delivers commercial and utility scale solar power systems through its wholly owned subsidiaries Suntech Energy Solutions and Suntech Energy Engineering and will own and operate projects greater than 10 megawatts in the United States through Gemini Solar Development Company, a joint venture with MMA Renewable Ventures. With regional headquarters in China, Switzerland and the United States and sales offices worldwide, Suntech is passionate about improving the environment we live in and dedicated to developing advanced solar solutions that enable sustainable development. For more information, please visit http://www.suntech-power.com .

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements constitute "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as "will," "expects," "anticipates," "future," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" and similar statements, and includes Suntech's ability to produce PV cells with an average conversion efficiency of close to 17% using multi-crystalline silicon wafers and close to 19% using mono-crystalline silicon wafers; Suntech's ability to install 100MW of Pluto capacity within the next two months; Suntech's ability to improve Pluto conversion efficiency to 20% on mono-crystalline PV cells and 18% on multi-crystalline PV cells using solar grade silicon wafers; the timing of the receipt of industry certification for Pluto PV cells and modules; and the targeted shipment volume of Pluto modules in 2009. Such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in Suntech's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 20-F. Suntech does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable law.

    For further information, please contact:

    In China:
     Rory Macpherson
     Investor Relations Director
     Tel:   +86-21-6288-5574
     Email: rory@suntech-power.com

    In the United States:
    The Piacente Group, Inc. (Investor Relations Counsel, Suntech)
     Sanjay M. Hurry
     Vice President
     Tel:   +1-212-481-2050
     Email: suntech@tpg-ir.com

SOURCE Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.


http://www.suntech-power.com/