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SolarWorld solar panels, innovative racking rise in L.A. utility’s 11.6-megawatt solar installation

Robust network of U.S. manufacturers supply project’s electrical gear, balance of systems

HILLSBORO, Ore., Nov. 30 – An 11.6-megawatt DC solar system composed of high-performance solar panels from SolarWorld has begun taking shape at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s high-desert Adelanto Switching and Converter Station. The system features domestically produced solar panels, racking, inverters and other balance-of-system components, showcasing not only American solar technology production but also the industry’s domestic manufacturing supply chain.

Designed and procured by SolarWorld Power Projects, the company’s engineering, procurement and construction division based in Camarillo, Calif., the project pairs the nation’s largest municipal utility with the largest and most experienced U.S. solar manufacturer. Aside from 46,322 250-watt solar panels manufactured at SolarWorld’s headquarters manufacturing hub for the Americas in Hillsboro, Ore., the LADWP system employs a noteworthy array of American-made electrical components, including 600 amp connectors and surge arresters, and 13 Envirotemp™ FR3™ biodegradable and non-toxic dielectric fluid-filled transformers, engineered-to-order and manufactured by Cooper Power Systems in Waukesha, Wis., and 13 inverters assembled by SMA America in Denver, Colo. The project’s switchboard and 117 combiner boxes also were domestically manufactured.

Located on a 42-acre site about 65 miles north of Los Angeles, the project is the largest domestic installation to use SolarWorld’s Sunfix Ground Mount system, which accommodates projects from 3.4 kilowatts to tens of megawatts on varied terrains. The Adelanto system features more than 5 million pounds of aluminium Sunfix Ground Mount racking as well as 9,600 steel piers, which form the project’s underground structural foundation. Both the racking system and the piers are U.S.-made.

“The Adelanto project taps the impressive breadth of American engineering and manufacturing know-how,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas. “The integration of U.S. products illustrates that a strong domestic solar manufacturing industry has the power also to sustain other American production. Collectively, the supply chain puts thousands of Americans to work in high-value manufacturing jobs creating products that live up to our nation’s standards of sustainability, safety and quality.”

All told, seven domestic manufacturers are involved in the Adelanto project. Together, the companies employ more than 40,000 Americans in the Midwest, South and West Coast. SolarWorld alone employs more than 1,100 people in its American manufacturing and commercial operations in, respectively, Oregon and Camarillo.

The switching and converter station at the town of Adelanto serves as the southern terminus of LADWP’s Southern Transmission System, which links Southern California with wind farms and the existing Intermountain Power Project, a power generation facility in Utah capable of producing 1800 megawatts of electricity. The Adelanto project is expected to produce 22,400 megawatt-hours (MWH) during its first year and 515,700 MWH over a 25-year period, serving tens of thousands of L.A. power consumers

About Cooper Power Systems

Cooper Power Systems, with 2010 revenues of approximately $1.2 billion, is a subsidiary of Cooper Industries plc (NYSE: CBE), and a global manufacturer of world-class power delivery and reliability solutions for the utility, commercial, and industrial markets. Cooper Power Systems is a leading provider of innovative Smart Grid technologies that optimize electrical grid performance. These solutions include Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), Demand Response (DR), Smart Sensors, Power Systems Engineering Software and Services, Substation Automation, and Feeder Automation. The company is also a leading provider of software, communications and integration solutions that enable customers to increase productivity, improve system reliability, and reduce costs. Envirotemp™ and FR3™ are valuable trademarks of Cooper Industries plc.

About SMA

SMA Solar Technology AG (SMA/FWB: S92) is the global market leader for solar inverters, the leading supplier of transformers and chokes, and a provider of innovative energy supply solutions for mass transit and main-line rail transportation. The SMA Group generated sales of €1.9 billion in 2010. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented in 19 countries on four different continents. The Group employs a staff of over 5,300 worldwide, plus a number of temporary employees which varies on a seasonal basis. The multi award-winning product range covers solar inverters for roof systems, major solar projects and off-grid systems, enabling SMA to provide a technically optimized inverter solution for all size categories and system types. Its range of services is complemented by a worldwide service network. The highly flexible manufacturing plants for solar inverters in Germany and North America have a capacity of approximately 11.5 GW a year. The SMA Group also operates a manufacturing plant for electromagnetic core components in Poland. Since 2008, SMA has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for its excellence as an employer and achieved first place in 2011 in the federal “Great Place to Work” competition.

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