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SolarWorld sponsors world-class big-wave surfer Kohl Christensen on eve of paddle-in surf circuit

Hawaiian surfer installs high-performance SolarWorld solar panels as authorized installer

HILLSBORO, Ore., April 29, 2010 SolarWorld has sponsored Hawaiian big-wave surfer Kohl Christensen, a SolarWorld authorized installer, in time for the Big Wave World Tour, an all-paddle-in series of four contests ranging from Chile to Oregon that effectively opens after a pair of big-wave awards events today and tomorrow.

SolarWorld, America’s largest solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, has operated in Hawaii for 30 years, beginning with a state-federal demonstration project of grid-connected residential systems on Oahu and Molokai in 1980. SolarWorld’s solar panels have shown extraordinary reliability in the tropical island state.

The company sponsored Christensen to showcase one of the many passionate and interesting members of its authorized installer network as well as to establish him as an ambassador for its solar mission. In the solar industry, Christensen, 34, is the Hawaii-based installation partner of Bonterra Renewable Energy & Solar Power; in the sport of surfing, he is a well-established athlete who pursues big waves at beaches all over the globe.

Within the weeks after a pair of awards  events closing out the 2010-2011 season today in Anaheim, Calif., and tomorrow in San Clemente, Calif., the Big Wave World Tour is expected to start in Punta de Lobos, Chile. Other tour stops include Pico Alto, Peru; Todos Santos, Mexico; and Nelscott Reef, Oregon. All events require surfers to paddle, rather than being towed, into their rides. In 2010, Christensen finished first in Nelscott and second overall.

In championing the sustainable power of solar, Christensen views the world as an islander with limited resources. “It’s important that we wean ourselves off of petroleum and become more independent, especially on islands,” Christensen said. “But in reality, we’re all on an island. I plan to show people how to use the sun and solar power.”

Christensen, who grew up on the island of Oahu, lives off the grid on a three-acre property in a northwestern valley of the island, where he is establishing a fruit and vegetable farm featuring avocado, papaya and lime trees. His home uses solar electric power, solar hot water technology, and solar-powered water pumping for a well.

“Kohl’s drive to bring solar technology to electricity consumers one roof at a time and awe his many fans from one beach to the next will make him a compelling ambassador for solar and SolarWorld,” said Rusty Pittman, U.S. head of marketing for SolarWorld. “We know he will show the way to a sunnier future wherever he surfs.”

To follow Christensen’s solar-and-surf adventures, stay tuned to  

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. 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 publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. For more information, visit

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