By expanding new production lines in Oregon, SolarWorld will increase annual solar-panel production capacity from 380MW to 530MW, marking a stepping-stone to 630MW capacity in the near future. In addition, production capacity of its PERC PV cells will also be increased from 335MW to 435MW to produce 60-cell mono-crystalline panels with power densities of 280 watts-peak and higher.
The projects, valued at more than a combined $10 million, bring the company's total investment in the state to about $630 million. SolarWorld employment in Hillsboro will return to 900 workers.
"Thanks to a variety of factors, including our trade cases against China, difficult but necessary financial controls and a fantastic group of employees, we have turned the corner,” said SolarWorld U.S. President Mukesh Dulani. “The announcement shows that SolarWorld is ready to extend our position in the American solar manufacturing industry."
"I am thrilled that SolarWorld's new production line is adding 200 good-paying, high-skill manufacturing jobs to Oregon's economy," Sen. Wyden said. "These are jobs worth fighting for, which is why I have worked side by side with SolarWorld to ensure our trade agreements with China are actually enforced. The result of our teamwork is that an anchor of Oregon's manufacturing base is once again growing and proving that U.S. workers and employers can succeed against any nation in the world, as long as they're competing on a level playing field."
Dulani is confident that SolarWorld could compete with any company, foreign or domestic. He concludesd: “We have made the tough decisions to cut costs, to innovate and to invest so that we are a much stronger company than we were even two years ago.”