With approximately 3,300 employees, the SolarWorld group is one of the world’s largest solar energy businesses. SolarWorld’s family of companies dedicates itself exclusively to the business of solar energy, combining all stages of the photovoltaic value chain, from the raw material silicon to turn-key solar power plants. SolarWorld operates production facilities in the United States and Germany as well as sales offices around the world.
In 2006, SolarWorld acquired the manufacturing base of Shell Solar, the largest manufacturer of solar electrical products in America since 1977. This operation, which included sites in Camarillo, Calif., and Vancouver, Wash., previously operated as Arco Solar and Siemens Solar.
In 2007, SolarWorld acquired the Komatsu silicon wafer production facility in Hillsboro (near Portland, Ore.) for $40 million. The company has made significant investments to renovate the 480,000-square-foot facility into a world-class manufacturing plant that will convert raw silicon into up to 500 megawatts worth of photovoltaic wafers and cells a year. The Hillsboro facility went on line in fall 2008. A module assembly factory in a second building, constructed in 2009, will begin production in the second half of 2010.