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SolarWorld heightens profile in Massachusetts’ rising solar market, with 7 megawatts in projects

2-MW Berkshire School system is latest in Bay State to host company’s solar panels

HILLSBORO, Ore., Nov. 16, 2011 – An 8-acre solar installation featuring high-performance solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer, will go online this fall at Berkshire School, a private boarding high school in Sheffield, Mass. The 2-megawatt system is the largest solar installation for a private school in New England. It is also the latest of three significant Massachusetts solar projects totaling more than 7 MW to harness SolarWorld technology in the state’s fast-growing solar market.

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Berkshire School’s ground-mounted system is composed of 8,332 of SolarWorld’s crystalline silicon solar panels; 8,020 are installed on fixed racking and 312 on a solar-tracking system. The installation was realized by solar developer PowerPlay Solar of Connecticut and turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contractor Spire Corp. of Massachusetts. In addition to generating about 45 percent of the school’s energy needs, the system will also serve as a cutting-edge educational resource for the study of photovoltaics and other renewable-energy technologies.

“Berkshire School has made an impressive investment in the goals and education of sustainability,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas. “The project heads in the direction that Massachusetts officials had in mind when they enacted ambitious solar legislation last year. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Berkshire Mountains, the project is emblematic of the Bay State’s embrace of renewable energy.”

In 2010, Massachusetts, a state burdened with some of the nation’s highest electricity rates, implemented a renewable energy portfolio standard to stimulate solar deployment. The state also created a market for trading solar renewable energy credits, certificates representing the environmental, social and health attributes of electricity generated from solar energy.

Since that time, SolarWorld has supplied Spire Corp. installations for BJ’s Wholesale Club totaling about 1.6 MW. Spread across four of the big-box retailer’s stores, the project included two systems in Leominster and South Attleboro, Mass., totaling 652 kilowatts.

A 4.5-MW system composed of 18,400 SolarWorld panels is under construction in Holyoke, Mass. Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) is building the system, which it will own and operate, on two sites near city-owned electrical distribution facilities. Holyoke Gas & Electric will buy all of the solar system’s electrical output under a 20-year power purchase agreement. State officials have cited the installation as a high-merit example of projects springing up across Massachusetts in response to the Bay State’s renewable portfolio standard mandate to install 400 MW of solar power generating capacity by 2020.

A high-resolution, downloadable photo of Berkshire School’s installation is available on our website.

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