SolarWorld further concentrates production in Western markets with major sales growth
Largest U.S. solar manufacturer sells stake in production joint venture in South Korea
HILLSBORO, Ore., June 30, 2011 – This week’s profitable sale of SolarWorld’s shares in a joint-venture solar-panel factory in South Korea highlights the company’s increasing commitment to production within its major sales markets in the West, including the fast-growing U.S. market. SolarWorld is dramatically increasing production at its hub of factory sites in and near Freiberg, Germany. In the United States, where the company has been the largest solar technology producer for more than 35 years, SolarWorld has exceeded the 1,250-employee mark that it reached upon completing its expansion and modernization programs for its sites in Hillsboro, Ore., and Camarillo, Calif., in December. This month, combined employment has exceeded 1,300. By the end of the year, combined module production across SolarWorld’s U.S. and European sites will ramp up to a total annual production capacity of more than one gigawatt.
The company’s exit from the South Korean joint venture, a solar-panel production facility opened in the city of Jeonju in 2008, differentiates SolarWorld from competitors that are moving production to Asia on claims of lower labor costs. SolarWorld achieves continuous cost reduction with the help of the most advanced equipment, highly automated manufacturing processes and optimum logistics. “In this respect, we prefer to rely on top specialists at top locations to attain our top SolarWorld quality,” said Frank Asbeck, chairman and CEO of SolarWorld.
SolarWorld manufactures its premium solar panels in locations with the highest quality, environmental and labor standards. “We are consistently continuing our strategy of making our premium product at premium locations,” Asbeck said. “A solar power system is an investment for generations. We guarantee 25 years of reliable output. But the life of our solar power systems is far longer. That cannot be guaranteed if you rely on a low-cost location.”
SolarWorld expects its largest sales growth this year in the United States. “Our steadily rising production output, coupled with streamlined in-market logistics, is enabling us to keep pace with the long-promised rise of the U.S. solar market,” said Gordon Brinser, president of SolarWorld Industries America Inc.
By this month, company sales in the U.S. market have matched total annual sales of 2010 – and they are on track to more than triple last year’s results. SolarWorld solar panels have been installed this year in a variety of U.S. landmark projects, including trailblazing installations at Pearl Harbor, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and commercial and residential sites. At the same time, the group is expecting growth in European markets in light of current legislation to fund renewable energy in Germany and other European countries.
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 2,500 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hillsboro, Ore. 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 publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at www.solarworld-usa.com
Media relations manager
SolarWorld Industries America
4650 Adohr Lane
Camarillo, CA 93012