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SolarWorld Celebrates Topping-Out for New Solar Wafer Factory - Solar Competitiveness Getting Closer

Montag, 18.05.2009 11:15

SolarWorld AG will be celebrating the topping-out ceremony of its new production facility for solar silicon wafers in Freiberg’s Industrial Estate East with the Prime Minister of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, and many guests from the region and from local industry on Monday. At this site a production facility will be created for photovoltaic wafers according to the most modern standards with a final capacity of half a Gigawatt per year. Wafers are extremely thin silicon discs that form the core of solar power generation. Once processed into solar modules this annual production volume of wafers would be sufficient to supply half a million people with solar electricity. With an investment volume of some 350 million EUR this is one of the largest investment projects of the solar power group. “Thanks to our development work and the latest technological processes we will be able to produce wafers in a particularly resource-friendly and cost-effective way”, says Dipl.-Ing. Frank H. Asbeck, Chairman and CEO of SolarWorld AG. Thus, the group is consistently following the path of continuous improvement of efficiency which will also be reflected in further cost reductions in the course of the year. „The day when solar power from the roof will be cheaper for the consumer than electricity from the wall socket is getting closer”. At the same time the solar technology provider relies on top quality. “High quality makes for high yields, also financially. High quality solar technology turns roofs into solid roof savings banks.“

Freiberg wafer capacities to rise to 1 Gigawatt in 2010

The poly-crystalline silicon wafers are further processed into solar cells both by solar cell manufacturers worldwide and in our own solar cell production. With the new factory the SolarWorld Group will have a wafer production capacity of one Gigawatt by the end of the year 2010 at the Freiberg location alone. By today’s world market standards one in five solar cells will then be made using wafers from Freiberg. At the same time the company will be creating 450 new jobs and in doing so strengthen its position as the largest industrial employer in the region of Central Saxony. At the moment the group employs more than 1,500 people in Freiberg. “This investment is a commitment to the location of Freiberg with its highly qualified and dedicated employees, the good infrastructure and the networking in research clusters”, says Prof. Dr. Peter Woditsch for SolarWorld AG.
"The decision by SolarWorld AG to expand its Freiberg site by the addition of the highly modern production hall is a great day for Saxony, especially for Freiberg and the employees of the company. Silicon wafers and solar modules made in Saxony are a quality product and it is especially in the Freiberg region that the heart beats for this high technology. Innovative companies, highly qualified skilled workers as well as universities and research establishments have in the last few years made significant contributions to the growing sales and employment figures in the photovoltaic industry in Saxony. I take it for granted that this growth will continue by a multiple in the medium term", says Stanislaw Tillich, Prime Minister of the State of Saxony.

Resource-friendly and cost-effective production

An additional example of the resource-friendly and cost-effective mode of production of the new facility is the complete recovery of the waste heat from production for the heating of the building. On the roof of the 300 meter long complex a photovoltaic system with an output of one Megawatt is being installed that can cover the power requirements of 1,000 inhabitants.

About SolarWorld AG

The SolarWorld AG group of companies (ISIN: DE0005108401) is a world leader in high-quality solar power technology. The company is exclusively dedicated to its core business of photovoltaic power generation and combines all activities of the solar industry from silicon as the raw material to turn-key solar power systems including recycling. SolarWorld is represented in all the world’s solar growth markets and predominantly produces in Germany and the USA. Its largest sites are located in Freiberg, Saxony, and Hillsboro, USA. The central group office is in Bonn. Worldwide sales of solar modules are secured by five sales offices in Germany, Spain, USA, South Africa and Singapore. The central element of the business in addition to the sale of turn-key solar systems and solar modules to the trade is the distribution of solar silicon wafers to the international solar cell industry. Apart from grid-coupled (on-grid) products, the SolarWorld Group sells off-grid solar power solutions. Under the name Solar2World the Group takes its ethical commitment to fair development also to emerging economies and developing countries, promoting in particular off-grid solar power solutions exemplary of sustainable economic development.

Sustainability is an integral element of SolarWorld’s corporate strategy. The corporate management is committed to sustainable, economically, ecologically and socially compatible growth. SolarWorld AG employs more than 2,500 people worldwide. The company is listed at the stock market, among others in the technology index TecDAX, in the ÖkoDAX, in the Dow Jones STOXX 600, in the international MSCI-Index and in the sustainability indices DAXglobal Alternative Energy and NAI.

SolarWorld Press contact

SolarWorld AG Investor Relations / Corporate Communications,
Phone no. +49 (0) 228/55920-470;
fax no. +49 (0) 228/55920-9470,;

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