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Municipal governments harness SolarWorld solar panels to power vital public services

Cities and counties embrace solar energy, save millions in utility costs

HILLSBORO, Ore., June 14, 2012 – City and county governments across the nation are tapping solar panels from SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years, to power vital public services. At hospitals, administrative buildings, waste-water treatment plants and jails, forward-looking municipalities have installed nearly 2.5 megawatts of the company’s high-performance, American-made solar panels since April, recognizing their ability to save taxpayers millions of dollars in energy costs and make substantial contributions to environmental quality.

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In May, California's Santa Barbara County dedicated a 1-MW solar array at its Camino Real campus, home of its jail, sheriff's department, three public hospitals and several administrative offices. Endelos Energy of Buellton, Calif., designed the project and installed its 4,500 SolarWorld solar panels on a hillside overlooking state Highway 101 and the Pacific Ocean. The system is expected to offset about one-third of the campus’ energy needs, saving an estimated $12 million over the life of the system and reducing the county’s carbon-dioxide emissions by millions of pounds.

"This solar installation represents a tremendous investment in Santa Barbara County's economic and environmental future," said Roy Hapeman, the county's energy manager. "We selected solar panels from SolarWorld, a company that has been manufacturing high-quality products in the U.S. since 1975, to ensure an excellent return on that investment over the next 25 years."

Local officials in Baltimore, Md., unveiled a 1-MW ground-mounted solar installation at the city's Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant in April. The solar installation is expected to save more than $6 million over the life of the project and help the city reach its goal of generating 30 percent of its own electricity. The solar system is part of a comprehensive energy-savings program through Johnson Controls, a global leader in delivering solutions that increase efficiency in buildings. The program includes enhancements to multiple Baltimore municipal facilities, such as courthouses, fire stations and office buildings.

In the city of Galena, Ill., a 368-kilowatt solar installation featuring SolarWorld solar panels is under construction at the municipal waste-water treatment plant. The photovoltaic system, designed and installed by SolarWorld Authorized Installer Eagle Point Solar of Dubuque, Iowa, will go live by early August. It is expected to offset half of the facility’s energy needs and save the city almost $500,000 over the next 25 years. The system is Eagle Point Solar’s second municipal installation in the last 12 months, following on the heels of an array comprised of 203 kilowatts worth of SolarWorld solar panels on the roof of the City Operations Center in Dubuque, Iowa, in late 2011.

"The prevalence of these municipal solar arrays in communities from coast to coast signals the arrival of solar technology as a vital power source for mainstream civic life," said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas. "Progressive city and county governments are embracing solar energy for its ability to produce not only measureable reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions but to guard against rising energy costs, saving millions of taxpayer dollars."

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