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If you do the calculations it is not that surprising if it is a specular reflection from the solar panels. Around opposition these are pointing straight back at us and they are quite large. A quick order of magnitude calculation follows. Please check!
The sun has an apparent area of around 1E-4 rad^2. A 1m^2 mirror at 40,000 km is around 1E-15 rad^2. Assuming the mirror is a perfect reflector it will have the same surface brightness as the sun so will be 2.5 log10(1E-11) fainter so around 28 mags. The sun is mag -27 so the 1m^2 mirror in GEO could be around mag 1. GEO satellites have solar arrays of 50m^2 or more so a bright NE glint is certainly possible.