Suntech was founded in 2001 in Wuxi, China by Dr. Shi Zhengrong. A graduate of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, he remained the chairman of Suntech until 2013.
The company quickly rose to become the biggest player in the solar industry. Dr. Shi was named a Hero of the Environment by Time magazine in 2007 and referred to as the world's first 'green billionaire'. By 2011 Suntech held the most market shares in the PV industry.
We previously talked about how the market oversaturation made the beginning of the 2010s difficult for PV companies with Yingli Solar
being an example. Suntech was also hit hard. First the company closed the plant in Arizona In 2013 and later announced a default on $541 million of debt. Dr Shi was dismissed from his post of chairman.
It was not the end though. The factories kept pumping out panels and little by little the company has seemingly recovered. It’s far from its former leading positions on the market but it stabilized and makes a fine product. Let’s look at it.