SolarWorld could double U.S. production
SolarWorld’s largest U.S. manufacturing plant is in Hillsboro, where it will have 500 megawatts of capacity and employ 1,000 by the time it completes an expansion this fall. SolarWorld is in the process of adding 350 positions to its employee roster.
Boris Klebensberger, SolarWorld’s chief operating officer and president of its Americas unit, said the company is using just half of its available space in Hillsboro.
“We could easily double (our capacity),” Klebensberger told Reuters Friday. “When’s the next step for the U.S.? I don’t know. But will it come? I’m rather sure.”
Should it come to fruition, Klebensberger’s forecast would be another dose of welcome news to Oregon’s renewable energy manufacturing sector.
On Thursday, the top executive of San Jose, Calif.-based Solexant Corp. confirmed plans to build an initial 100 megawatt plant to manufacture thin-film solar panels either in the Gresham or Wilsonville areas.
Solexant has applied for a $25 million loan from Oregon’s State Energy Loan Program, which, if approved, would be the largest ever granted by the more than 30-year-old program.
According to records from the state, the Solexant plant would initially employ 100, but it’s proposed to be the first of four phases that would ultimately total 400 megawatts of capacity.
The company’s loan application will be reviewed during a public meeting Tuesday by the loan program’s advisory committee.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.