SolarWorld unveiled its new 210,000-square-foot Hillsboro manufacturing space Sunday, announcing for the first time that the addition will host 350 megawatts of module manufacturing capacity.
With the news, the German company’s Hillsboro operations become the only monocrystalline solar manufacturing plant in the U.S. that produces every phase of solar panel manufacturing, said spokesman Ben Santarris.
The new building gives SolarWorld a 44 percent increase in building space and is adjacent to the company’s main 480,000-square-foot main manufacturing facility it opened just a year ago.
The Hillsboro facility up until now focused only on turning polysilicon into solar wafers and power-generating cells.
With the new building, the Hillsboro facility now adds the third and final step, in which the photovoltaic cells are strung and soldered together into a glass-covered laminate and placed into a metal frame.
Until now, SolarWorld’s only U.S. module-making facility was in Camarillo, Calif., where it has 150 megawatts of capacity.
SolarWorld is in the process of putting together a management team and work force to staff the new factory. The new building, however, hasn’t increased the company’s previously-stated goal of employing 1,000 workers by 2011.
Portland Business Journal – http://portland.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2009/09/28/daily62.html