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Suntech Energizes Schools in Lebanon's Largest Solar Initiative

Posted on 2010-02-17
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, and WUXI, China, Feb 17, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world's largest producer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules, recently supplied solar panels for 19 remote schools in Lebanon working with local partner and Lebanese integrator Asaco General Trade & Contracting. Sponsored and facilitated by the Country Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Demonstration Project for the Recovery of Lebanon (CEDRO), established through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the combined systems represent the largest solar initiative in Lebanon.

"Suntech is proud to support this initiative," said Nader Jandaghi, Suntech's Director of Middle East. "CEDRO's adoption of solar power for these schools will brighten the lives and enhance the learning of children who will define Lebanon's future. Together, we want to power a world where everyone has direct and dependable access to nature's most abundant energy resource."

Because of the locations of the schools in rural villages spread across the Bekaa Valley and Northern Lebanon, grid power can be intermittent and unreliable. In the past, teachers and administrators at these 19 schools have persevered through the blackouts; now they will be able to rely on the sun to provide classroom and library lighting as well as reliable access to a computer or fax/copy machine. Integrator Asaco designed custom systems using Suntech solar modules for each of the 19 schools, with power outputs ranging from 1.2kWp to 1.8kWp.

"This is the largest set of solar projects in Lebanon to date -- not only in terms of power output but also because of the large number of sites spread across the country," said Mr. Ramzi AbuSaid, CEO of Asaco. "CEDRO set reasonable and challenging system design objectives. We had to integrate several power sources at each site, including grid power, the solar systems, and even diesel generators in some cases, and leverage each of their attributes to ensure that the schools have dependable power at all times. Each power system is very efficient and takes maximum advantage of the clean electricity generated through Suntech's high-performing solar modules."

"For more than 20 years, and ever since the war, electrical power failure in the public grid has been a chronic problem for us," explained Joseph Nakleh, Principal of the Anna Intermediate Public School. "We experienced blackouts on average for six to twelve hours each day. As a public school, we didn't have the budget to fund an alternative power source, so over time we adapted to the frequent grid power failures. Unfortunately, this was affecting the quality of educational services that we strive to provide our students. The new system is not only an excellent solution since it finally solved our electricity issues, but it will serve as a tangible, everlasting example for our students about the good uses of green power."

About CEDRO

In partnership with the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water, the Ministry of Finance, and the Council for Development and Reconstruction, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is managing the "country energy efficiency and renewable energy demonstration project for the recovery of Lebanon" (CEDRO). Created in October 2007, the project has a mandate of five years, lasting until October 2012, and a budget of $9.73 million funded by the Lebanon Recovery Fund by means of a donation from Spain. CEDRO has been established with an aim to complement the national power sector reform strategy, and to support the greening of Lebanon's recovery, reconstruction, and reform activities. To achieve this, the project will focus on activating end-use energy efficiency and renewable energy applications in public sector buildings and facilities across Lebanon. For more information, please visit http://www.cedro-undp.org

About Asaco General Trade &Contracting

ASACO is a leader in renewable energy in Lebanon and holds the record for the most amount of renewable power installed or supplied in Lebanon, in both wind turbines and solar photovoltaic panels. With its rigorous team of professionals and long history in the field, ASACO has designed, supplied, and executed a larger number of renewable energy projects throughout Lebanon, including wind and solar systems as well as hybrid systems. Asaco is an active member in the Lebanese Energy Society and other environmental initiatives and plays an important role in promoting renewable energy into Lebanon.

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