Suntech signs 17 MW deal with Ontario installer
* Signs memorandum of understanding with Pure energies
* To supply up to 17 megawatts of solar panels in 2010
* Suntech shares close up 3.9 pct
LOS ANGELES, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd STP.N has landed a 17 megawatt supply deal for 2010 with Canada's Pure energies, the Chinese solar panel maker said on Tuesday, adding to the industry's building momentum going into next year.
Under the deal, Toronto-based Pure energies, which installs, leases and operates solar power systems, will market and use Suntech's panels for residential solar systems in Ontario.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies said in a statement their memorandum of understanding continues through 2011.
Suntech and other solar power companies expect demand for solar power systems to grow in 2010, following a tough year in 2009 when panel prices tumbled and financing tightened.
Suntech plans to increase its production capacity to 1.4 gigawatts, from just over a gigawatt now, and boost shipments at least 75 percent in 2010.
Chinese solar power company Trina Solar Ltd (TSL.N) also announced a sales deal on Tuesday to supply eight megawatts of modules to the Chinese domestic market. [ID:nN01489649]
Macquarie Securities analyst Kelly Dougherty wrote in a note to clients that the deals highlight "strong momentum" for solar power in various global markets.
Privately held Pure energies expects to create about 100 direct jobs next year as it starts to deploy solar systems in January, said Ryan McCalley, vice president at the company and one of its founders.
Formed this year, the company will focus on the residential market and plans to establish its own brand name, he said.
McCalley said the Suntech deal would differ from the panel maker's agreement to manufacture panels for Akeena Solar Inc AKNS.O panels, which are branded as Andalay.
McCalley declined to comment on Pure's capital backing or name its other founders.
Shares of Suntech closed up 3.9 percent at $15.53 each on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Laura Isensee, editing by Leslie Gevirtz) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; Los Angeles Bureau +213 380 2014))