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SolarWorld to add module assembly in Hillsboro

Hillsboro, ORE., Oct. 4, 2009 – SolarWorld's manufacturing operation here will become the first fully integrated monocrystalline photovoltaic plant in the Americas – starting with polysilicon rock and ending with finished Sunmodules – when the plant adds module assembly in mid-2009, the company announced today.

The factory addition to crystal growing, wafer making and cell production already occurring at the Hillsboro site will round out SolarWorld's commitment to Oregon manufacturing and the U.S. market. A new, 210,000-square-foot building nearing completion next to SolarWorld's 480,000-square-foot main U.S. factory will house 350 megawatts of annual module-manufacturing capacity. Combined with 150 MW in Camarillo, Calif., the company's capacity will total 500 MW in the United States and 1.15 gigawatts worldwide by 2011. Module assembly will occupy half of the new building, logistics the other half. Construction of the new building, which employed up to 180 construction workers, has added 44 percent more space to the site just a year after it opened on Oct. 17, 2008. The addition of module assembly is coming sooner and in greater capacity than the company initially planned.

"While we always intended to add moduling in Hillsboro as part of our long-term expansion goal, today marks the launch of actual steps to equip, staff and operate a new building for that purpose," said Boris Klebensberger, president of SolarWorld Industries America. "These steps reflect our unwavering determination to use Oregon's skilled, silicon-savvy work force – in concert with our veteran employees in Camarillo – to manufacture the world's best PV power technology right here on U.S. soil." SolarWorld, the largest and most experienced U.S. manufacturer of solar power technology, has begun assembling a management team and work force for the new factory, which will not alter company's previous – commitment to employ 1,000 workers by 2011.

SolarWorld officials announced the milestone in their ongoing U.S. expansion during a first-anniversary celebration inside the new building. The event coincided with a SolarWorld-sponsored bicycle tour to benefit Portland nonprofit Green Empowerment, which undertakes energy and water projects in developing nations.

Also in the event, Solar2World, SolarWorld's rural-electrification program, launched a project with Green Empowerment to benefit El Corozo, Nicaragua. Solar2World will donate PV modules for a solar water-pumping station that will be implemented by Green Empowerment to supply drinking water to 114 residents.

SolarWorld Real Value

SolarWorld manufactures and sells solar power solutions and in doing so contributes to a cleaner energy supply worldwide. As the largest solar producer in the United States and Europe, SolarWorld employs about 3,200 people and carries out production in Hillsboro, Ore., and Freiberg and Arnstadt, Germany. From the raw material silicon to solar wafers, cells and panels, SolarWorld manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development. Through an international distribution network with locations in the United States, Europe, Singapore and South Africa, SolarWorld supplies customers all over the world. The company maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe and is committed to resource- and energy-efficient production. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has been publically traded on the stock market since 1999. For more information, visit www.solarworld-usa.com.

Media Contact

Devon Cichoski
Media relations manager
SolarWorld Industries America
4650 Adohr Lane
Camarillo, CA 93012
Mobile: 805-377-2905
Office: 805-388-6388
devon.cichoski(at)solarworld-usa.com