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SolarWorld solar panels power largest U.S. solar-equipped affordable housing project

2-MW system for existing homes benefits 1,000-plus low-income residents

CAMARILLO, Calif., Aug. 18, 2011 – A solar installation believed to be the nation’s largest for a government-sponsored affordable housing project features high-performance photovoltaic panels from SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer for more than 35 years. The 2-megawatt project owned and operated by the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara (HACSB) will bring the energy- and cost-saving benefits of solar technology to more than 1,000 low-income families in the California county.

SolarWorld solar panels on County of Santa Barbara homes
High Resolution JPEG, 2000x1300, 2 MB

HACSB will unveil the project today at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the L.C. Grossman Homes complex in Goleta, a community just north of the city of Santa Barbara. The ambitious solar installation encompasses 21 sites around the county, 250 separate structures, five municipal permitting jurisdictions and three utilities. All told, more than 7,200 SolarWorld panels will offset 100 percent of the energy consumption of 863 units of affordable housing, including both tenant and common areas, and trim power costs for both HACSB and residents.

“SolarWorld is heartened to be part of a project that delivers the benefits of solar technology to low-income members of our community,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas. “Universally applicable, solar power holds the promise of putting clean, affordable energy in the hands of everyone everywhere.”

SolarWorld installer Planet Solar, headquartered in Santa Barbara, handled the installation. Planet Solar is a solar integrator that employs 30 people nationwide. Both SolarWorld and Planet Solar maintain major operational hubs in Southern California. SolarWorld employs about 250 people at its Camarillo, Calif. facility, where it has operated a solar-panel manufacturing site since the late 1970s. It also employs more than 1,000 workers at its American manufacturing headquarters in Hillsboro, Ore.

The HACSB project is the latest in a series of affordable housing projects to feature SolarWorld panels. In 2010, SolarWorld and Planet Solar collaborated on a 100-kilowatt system for the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara. The system was the first multi-family affordable housing project involving solar in Southern California Edison’s service territory. SolarWorld’s solar panels also supply power to low-income housing projects nationwide, from Tampa, Fla., to Sacramento, Calif.

“We are honored to have been selected by HACSB to perform this unprecedented project in our community based on our prior track record in affordable housing,” said Paul Metzner, chief operating officer of Planet Solar. “HACSB is a recognized industry leader in its approach to affordable housing and the first to embark on a project of this magnitude. We are pleased HACSB trusted Planet Solar and SolarWorld to pioneer this together.”

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

Media Contact

Devon Cichoski
Media relations manager
SolarWorld Industries America
4650 Adohr Lane
Camarillo, CA 93012
Mobile: 805-377-2905
Office: 805-388-6388