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SolarWorld solar panels power Hannah Solar’s cultivation of ‘cash crop’ in Georgia solar drive

Nearly 18 MW in projects, many on farms, help fulfill Georgia Power’s landmark clean-energy initiative to drive the state’s solar-generating capacity to 1 gigawatt in five years

HILLSBORO, Ore., Dec. 11, 2014 – SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for nearly 40 years, announced that the company is rounding out nearly 18 megawatts of solar-panel deliveries to enable Atlanta-based Hannah Solar develop solar projects in several state regions and dozens of projects, many on agricultural lands.

A solar system installer, designer and integrator, Hannah Solar is developing projects that make productive new uses of sites through Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative to drive the state’s solar generating capacity from about 20 MW to nearly 1 gigawatt in just five years. Hannah Solar will install about 12.5 MW of SolarWorld solar panels this year. Georgia Power’s Advanced Solar Initiative has made the state one of the fastest-growing solar states in the U.S. Under the program, Hannah Solar’s customers typically can look forward to watching their fuel-, noise- and emission-free systems pay for themselves in about six years, then produce 13 cents for each kilowatt-hour produced for 20 years. In addition, many customers are using solar to offset their energy consumption as well.

“Farmers think of these projects as cash crops in which they no longer have to worry about the weather to generate an attractive return on their investment and a hedge against the ups and downs of their crops,” said Pete Marte, president, chief executive and founder of Hannah Solar, which he named after his daughter upon its founding in 2007.

Some projects have gone up on lands designated for other uses, including industry. For instance, at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12, a ceremony will commission a 1 MW system harnessing SolarWorld solar panels on Meriwether County Industrial Development Authority land in Greenville. Washington Gas Energy Systems will own and operate that project.

About 80 percent of the Hannah Solar projects have been sited on farmlands, helping to boost the economies of proportionately more severely recession-affected rural areas of the state. As a result, many potential partners who are multi-generational farmers prefer purchasing durable goods from U.S. producers such as SolarWorld, Marte said.

Among Hannah Solar’s project partners has been Dixon Gin Co. Inc., which has participated in 700 kilowatts in projects in Alapaha and Enigma, towns where the company operates its cotton, peanut and supply businesses.

“After talking with people in the industry that had installed solar and looking at the financial numbers, we knew solar would be a great investment and fit for our operations,” said Jaclyn Ford, a company co-owner and co-manager. “Solar is an excellent investment and good for our county and local community.”

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-usa.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

About Hannah Solar LLC

Hannah Solar is a full-service, certified solar integrator dedicated to providing the very best in engineering, products, installation and servicing of solar arrays, EV charging stations, critical backup generators and LED lighting. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and comprised of a Certified Solar Photovoltaic Installer (NABCEP), licensed Professional Engineers (PE), Master Electricians, service technicians, project-management professionals, designers and installers, Hannah Solar serves its clients as a reliable and experienced resource in sustainable energy integration. For more details, go to www.hannahsolar.com