SolarWorld to expand largest solar manufacturing site in North America
HILLSBORO, Ore. - March 19, 2009 - Five months after the grand opening of North America's biggest solar manufacturing plant here in October, the SolarWorld group today announced it will begin construction of a new, adjacent facility.
The building, dedicated to logistics, distribution and production, will measure about 210,000 square feet, increasing the site’s plant space by 44 percent. By comparison, SolarWorld's main building -- formerly a semiconductor factory built but never put into full production in the late 1990s -- measures about 480,000 square feet.
The new construction demonstrates that despite a world economic downturn, the SolarWorld group is forging ahead with aggressive plans to build U.S. manufacturing capacity in step with the long-term deployment of solar technology.
"We are fully committed to not only marketing the proven renewable energy of photovoltaic technology in the United States but also manufacturing it here," said Boris Klebensberger, SolarWorld's chief operating officer and President of SolarWorld Industries America. "This project further demonstrates our resolve."
The new Logistics and Production Building leaves unchanged the company's goal of building 500 MW of production capacity and about 1,000 employees by 2011. The project will employ between 150 and 200 construction workers at peak.
Completion is scheduled for November.
The project represents the second phase of the site's buildout. With the new facility, the company will be able to realign production operations to make more efficient space of the main building’s full capacity.
SolarWorld's 100-acre property near the corner of Northwest Evergreen and Shute roads provides still further room to grow, an opportunity that the company intends to seize as market and company conditions direct.
Gordon Brinser, vice president for operations for SolarWorld Industries America, congratulated the city of Hillsboro and state of Oregon on their ongoing steps to collaboratively grow safe, environmentally sound, well-paying industrial employment.
"Hillsboro and Oregon have been key partners so far in resolving the inevitable obstacles that arise for an enterprise of this magnitude," Brinser said. "We hope they will continue to adapt to the challenges of establishing new, green industry."
The logistics building has been designed, and will be constructed and operated, according to SolarWorld's highest standards of sustainable business practices.
SolarWorld is the largest, and one of the oldest, U.S. manufacturers of photovoltaic cells and modules. It also operates U.S. sites in Vancouver, Wash., and Camarillo, Calif. Worldwide, the company, based in Bonn, Germany, runs production plants in Germany and South Korea. All, in turn, supply SolarWorld sales offices in the United States, Germany, Spain, South Africa and Singapore.
About SolarWorld AG
SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs approximately 3,000 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, USA. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has been publically traded on the stock market since 1999 and is quoted in the technology index TecDax. SolarWorld achieved sales of about one billion Euros for the fiscal year 2011. More information at www.solarworld-usa.com.
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