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SolarWorld: U.S. customers and market support company during investigations of harmful Chinese trade practices

HILLSBORO, Ore., Dec. 20, 2011 – SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer, has been supported by a wide spectrum of installers, distributors and project developers during a turbulent year that led to antidumping and anti-subsidy trade cases that SolarWorld filed against China.

SolarWorld filed the trade petitions with the U.S. government on Oct. 19 in hopes of restoring robust and fair international competition; in response, the U.S. government issued a unanimous preliminary determination agreeing that Chinese practices are harming the U.S. industry.

Since the cases were filed, many customers have begun or expanded their business relationships with SolarWorld. Both new and existing customers have stated their confidence in the company and its commitment to U.S. manufacturing and environmental practices:

  • Glenn Maltais, vice president of business development and sustainability for Munro Distributing Inc., Fall River, Mass.: "With the realities of globalization impacting economies here and abroad, there comes an indisputable need for growth and balance in the U.S. economy. In the solar industry, that means growing domestic manufacturing jobs and ensuring fair competition in the PV sector. At Munro Distributing, we believe in supporting U.S. job growth, competitive pricing and quality domestic production. It is for these reasons that Munro began carrying SolarWorld's product line. We are proud to be aligned with SolarWorld and the value it enables us to provide to our customers."
  • Josh Aldrich, manager of the solar division of Rodda Electric, Brentwood, Calif.: "We recently became a SolarWorld authorized installer to help us meet demand for sustainably produced solar technology made in the USA. In early 2012, we plan to order more than 2.5 megawatts of SolarWorld panels to supply two new projects. We prefer that our customers do not to have to wonder whether they’re getting what they paid for: solar panels made to the high environmental and trade standards that they expect."
  • Mike McKechnie, president of Mountain View Solar, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.: "We've seen new business since SolarWorld filed its trade case from people who want clean energy products that live up to their billing in terms of manufacturing and trade. Some also mention wanting to support U.S. manufacturing and jobs. As SolarWorld authorized installers, we feel the same way. This fall, we boosted our partnership with the company to include selling Sunkits, SolarWorld’s custom systems."

A recent report from Switzerland's Bank Sarasin titled "Solar Industry: Survival of the Fittest in a Fiercely Competitive Marketplace" highlighted SolarWorld as one of the "fittest" photovoltaic companies to navigate an industry shakeout, partly in light of its coveted sustainability record. SolarWorld also is rated the world’s most sustainable producer on the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition's annual Solar Scorecard.

"We would like to thank our strong and growing customer base for their loyalty and commitment during an extremely difficult year for the U.S. solar manufacturing industry," said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, the company's commercial arm in the Americas. "With the support of our customer partners, we look forward to better years ahead once China’s unfair trade practices are addressed."

SolarWorld also reported that it would close out 2011 with increased sales in the U.S. market, compared with 2010. The gain in unit volume came despite abruptly lower industry pricing, according to SolarWorld, as a result of China's use of illegal subsidies and artificially and temporarily low prices to destroy U.S. manufacturers. Leading the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing (CASM) (www.americansolarmanufacturing.org), a coalition of more than 150 industry companies employing more than 11,000 U.S. workers, SolarWorld contends that China’s anti-competitive trade is neither commercially nor environmentally sustainable.

China's campaign has caused at least a dozen U.S. domestic manufacturers to lay off workers in the last two years. Unfortunately, Chinese manufacturers are continuing to expand their subsidized manufacturing capacity and to sell at dumped prices, according to CASM, in a sustained effort to take control of the U.S. market.

* This news release contains historical information and forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements typically contain words such as "expect," "believe," "estimate," "anticipate," or similar words indicating that future outcomes are uncertain. Forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions, expectations, plans and projections that are believed valid when made. Such statements are not guarantees of future performance and inherently involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release or the date of any document incorporated by reference. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.

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 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