SoloPower to ramp up Portland hiring

SoloPower will kick off its hiring effort for Portland this week.

SoloPower will kick off its hiring effort for Portland this week.

SoloPower Inc. is beginning to ramp up hiring at its North Portland production facilities with plans to join a major career fair Wednesday to scout for engineers and technicians.

The San Jose, Calif.-based developer of thin-film solar energy products is building a $340 million production operation based out of two buildings in North Portland. The company in August signed a lease for 225,250 square feet of industrial space on North Marine Drive.

Thomas Barker, SoloPower’s director of human resources, said the company will attend Wednesday’s Interstate Career Expo at the Oregon Convention Center to seek equipment engineers, chemical engineers, production and process engineers and front-end and maintenance technicians.

SoloPower employs 13 in Portland so far, with several others who have accepted job offers but have yet to start work, CEO Tim Harris said Monday.

The company plans to hire another 10 people this month, a figure that’s expected to grow in April with plans to reach 90 by the end of the year.

SoloPower is just building out its first production line now, but in a few years it projects employment of 450 people manning four lines of production for a capacity of 400 megawatts.

SoloPower in December disclosed that it raised $20.1 million in convertible debt and options to help finance a new Portland factory, a development CEO Tim Harris at the time called “a critical step.”

In addition to the debt financing, the company has received around $130 million from investors, including a $9.6 million round disclosed in September and $15 million in June reported as part of an anticipated $44 million round.

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