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Swinburne University of Technology and Suntech Team to Develop Next Gen Solar

Cheap and efficient solar energy on the horizon

SAN FRANCISCO and WUXI, China, April 6 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Swinburne University of Technology has teamed up with Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, to create the next generation of solar cells.

The Australian university and Suntech will collaborate to develop solar cells that are twice as efficient and run at half the cost of those currently available.

Swinburne will contribute $3 million dollars to the venture, with Suntech pledging a further $3 million over the course of the collaboration. The project is also seeking funding from the Victorian Government.

Leading the group will be Swinburne Centre for Micro-Photonics Director, Professor Min Gu and Suntech CEO Dr Shi Zhengrong. Dr. Shi, who is also an Australian citizen, founded Suntech in 2001 and built it into a leading solar company.

According to Professor Gu, the group's combination of research and business expertise will allow them to develop and manufacture the revolutionary solar cells within five years.

"The project will be based around the development of nanoplasmonic solar cells," said Professor Gu. This new technology allows for the efficient collection of solar energy in a wider colour range than those currently being developed in other laboratories. "These will be twice as efficient as the current generation of cells, and will also cost significantly less to run."

While Swinburne will lead the R&D and Suntech will manage the manufacturing, according to Professor Gu the project will be collaborative throughout each stage.

"By working with Suntech in the development phase, we can ensure the technology can be transferred to the production line. This should allow us to have the cells ready for manufacture within five years," added Professor Gu.

Dr. Shi said, "This relationship will combine Swinburne's high quality research with Suntech's ability to rapidly commercialize new technologies into cost effective applications. Nanoplasmonic technology has the potential to take solar to the next level."

According to Swinburne Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young the agreement will not only be significant for the university, but it could also have a positive impact on Australia's manufacturing industry.

"This partnership will result in major research and development in solar energy," said Professor Young. "It could lead to significant industrial benefits for the state of Victoria, and even be a precursor to Suntech manufacturing in Australia."

The collaborative research group will be housed in Swinburne's new Advanced Technology Centre, which is a $130 million dollar development due to be completed by early 2011.

About Swinburne University of Technology

Swinburne University of Technology has an international reputation for quality career-orientated education and commitment to research. With a strong teaching and learning program with applied vocational emphasis, Swinburne has established many strong links with industry.

The university houses a number of globally recognised and innovative research centres including the Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing and the Centre for Micro-Photonics. Currently under construction, Swinburne's Advanced Technology Centre will bring greater research and teaching excellence to the areas of optical physics, sustainable infrastructure and advanced manufacturing.

Swinburne has more than 40,000 students and 2,000 staff across five campuses in the greater Melbourne region, as well as strong international networks through its campus in Sarawak, Malaysia. The university continues to expand its reach by implementing innovative teaching and learning practices, increased spending on infrastructure and developing global partnerships.

    For more information visit www.swinburne.edu.au

    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 San Francisco 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 include the potential for the new solar cells to be twice as efficient as the current generation of cells, and cost significantly less to run; the potential for nanoplasmonic solar technology to make solar competitive with all other forms of electricity generation; and the ability to manufacture the cells within 5 years. 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 more information please contact:

    For Swinburne University of Technology
    Crystal Ladiges
    Senior Media Officer
    Swinburne University of Technology
    Tel: +61 3 9214 5064
    Email: CLadiges@groupwise.swin.edu.au

    For Suntech
    In China:
    Rory Macpherson
    Investor Relations Director
    Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
    Tel: +86-21-6288-5574
    Email: rory@suntech-power.com

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

SOURCE  Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.

    -0-                           04/06/2009
    /CONTACT:  Crystal Ladiges, Senior Media Officer, Swinburne University of
Technology, +61 3 9214 5064, CLadiges@groupwise.swin.edu.au; In China: Rory
Macpherson, Investor Relations Director, Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.,
+86-21-6288-5574, rory@suntech-power.com, In the United States: Sanjay M.
Hurry, Vice President, The Piacente Group, Inc. (Investor Relations Counsel,
Suntech), +1-212-481-2050, suntech@tpg-ir.com/
    /Web Site:  http://www.suntech-power.com /
    (STP)

CO:  Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd.; Swinburne University of Technology
ST:  California, China
IN:  OIL
SU:  JVN

PR
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4110 04/06/2009 06:30 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com