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SolarWorld Sunmodules fuel landmark systems in Southeast and Southwest, spurring U.S. growth and hiring

Hillsboro, Ore., May 28, 2009 – A total of nearly 12,000 Sunmodules from SolarWorld, the largest North American manufacturer of photovoltaic cells and modules, have gone to work producing energy in rooftop projects at important civic facilities in Florida and Southern California, marking solar-energy milestones in both regions.

The groundbreaking projects comprise:

  • 5,000 175-watt Sunmodules on the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., the nation's second biggest facility of its kind. The 1-megawatt system is the largest roof-mounted installation in the Southeast. A shimmering facility of buttressed glass walls and soaring arches, the center attracts an estimated 1.4 million visitors a year. The county and the Orlando Utilities Commission partnered on the project, which the U.S. Department of Energy designated a Solar America Showcase.
  • 6,720 Sunmodules on the central bus maintenance facility of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in downtown Los Angeles. The 1.2 megawatt system is the largest solar-panel installation both in the nation's second largest city and at a U.S. transit facility. The 175-watt Sunmodules atop the transit agency's Support Services Center are expected to slash the facility's annual $1.1 million energy bill in half.

The marquee projects, combined with a hefty federal solar-energy investment announced this week, highlight growth in the SolarWorld group's U.S. market, where the company is not only the largest but also the most experienced solar manufacturer.

"We look forward to building on our success in helping the nation move toward sustainable energy and away from fossil fuels," said Boris Klebensberger, president and chairman of SolarWorld in the United States. "From the municipal to the federal level, the country finally is quite literally seeing the light."

The administration of President Obama announced that the U.S. Department of Energy would provide $117.6 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to help the U.S. industry scale up manufacturing and distribution.

"We have a choice," Obama said in a DOE news release. "We can hand over the jobs of the future to our competitors, or we can confront what they have already recognized as the great opportunity of our time: the nation that leads the world in creating new sources of clean energy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy. That's the nation I want America to be."

It's also the America that SolarWorld has worked to build for 32 years. At plants in Hillsboro, Ore., Vancouver, Wash., and Camarillo, Calif. – started in 1977 – SolarWorld produces Sunmodules to fuel renewable-energy systems in such familiar regions as Southern California and Florida.

"We are particularly proud of these latest projects, because we have been involved in those regions for decades, and our work continues to show results amid a redoubled national movement toward renewable energy," said Raju Yenamandra, the company's head of sales for SolarWorld California in Camarillo.

The Hillsboro factory, opened in October, is hiring every week as it scales up to reach 500 MW of capacity and 1,000 employees in 2011.

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