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SolarWorld to Leverage $4 million U.S. Department of Energy Award to Develop Next-Generation Crystallization Technology for More Efficient, Affordable Solar Cells

HILLSBORO, Ore., Oct. 22, 2014 – SolarWorld, the largest crystalline silicon solar producer in the Americas for nearly 40 years, today expressed its gratitude for a $4 million cooperative award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to intensify development of a ground-breaking silicon mono-crystallization technology. The proprietary development has demonstrated promise to sharply reduce costs to produce silicon mono-crystals while increasing the efficiency of photovoltaic cells.

SolarWorld already is the global leader in producing PERC (passive emitter rear contact) cell technology with multiple years of capacity level production at its Hillsboro facility. Mastering this technology has advanced the power of SolarWorld’s 60-cell PERC solar panels from 265 to 280 watts-peak so far.

Research in the $8 million next phase of SolarWorld’s crystallization project, defrayed by the Energy Department’s $4 million match, will take place at the company’s site in Hillsboro, Ore., its headquarters for the Americas. The project will combine with other research and development there and in the company’s R&D facility in Germany, SolarWorld Innovations, to propel the company’s full-production module power density beyond a once-unimaginable milestone of 300 watts-peak.

The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Through SunShot, the Energy Department supports efforts by private companies, universities and national laboratories to drive down the cost of solar electricity to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour.

“We thank the Department of Energy for assisting us in our relentless drive to increase solar module power output while driving down costs to customers,” said Mukesh Dulani, U.S. president of SolarWorld. “It will be an exciting time to watch the technologies that built this America-pioneered industry make way for technologies that will power a new magnitude of solar-technology adoption in the marketplace.”

SolarWorld is exhibiting from Booth 832 at Solar Power International, North America’s largest solar-industry trade show, from Oct. 21 through 23 in Las Vegas.

About SolarWorld REAL VALUE

SolarWorld Americas Inc., the largest U.S. crystalline-silicon solar manufacturer for more than 42 years, produces and sells high-tech solar power solutions and, in doing so, contributes to a cleaner energy supply throughout the Americas. The company maintains 430 megawatts of annual capacity to produce solar cells and 550 MW of capacity to manufacture solar modules.  The company’s brand stands for a proven track record of quality and reliability, and SolarWorld is the only producer whose industrial lineage has outlived its products’ 25- and 30-year performance guarantees. SolarWorld upholds high social standards and commits itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. With its program Solar2World, the company supports the expansion of solar power in developing countries in Latin America. Connect with SolarWorld on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and www.solarworld.com.

Media Contact

Ben Santarris
Head of Corporate Communications
SolarWorld Americas Inc.
4050 NE Evergreen Road
Portland, OR 97124
Mobile: 503-927-9858
Office: 503-693-5189
ben.santarris(at)solarworldusa.com