SolarWorld has opened a new cell manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Ore. The plant is expected to reach a capacity of 500 MW by 2011 and is North America's largest solar cell manufacturing facility, the company says.
SolarWorld Hillsboro is a 480,000 square-foot facility, measuring one-quarter mile end-to-end. Raw silicon is transformed through the manufacturing process into solar cells that are shipped to the SolarWorld Camarillo plant, where they are processed into solar panels.
SolarWorld acquired the Hillsboro factory, which belonged to Japan's Komatsu Group, in March 2007 for $40 million and is investing more than $400 million in the new facility. The Hillsboro plant will now be SolarWorld Industries America's headquarters.