It’s good to hear news that alternative energy investments are being deployed in the form of renewable alternative energy farms. This is an essential and crucial part of making electric vehicles, EV a even greater reality for tomorrow.
The gist, according to Seeking Alpha, the German solar manufacturer SolarWorld AG plans to open the largest solar-cell factory in the U.S., in Hillsboro, Ore., which is expected to produce 150 megawatts of cells early next year. This would bring the company’s total North American capacity to around 200Mw and eventually grow to 500Mw by 2011, according to the company.
What’s so special about this? A few things stand out. The SolarWorld Industries America U.S. headquarter operations from Camarillo, Calif. will be moving to Hillsboro. It originally made solar panels and when it bought the Oregon factory building from Japan’s Komatsu Group for $40 million last year and has invested a good part of it to into growing and updating the facility. This means that the alternative energy sector, even though it has gone through an incredible stock appreciation and then tumbled down, has had time to reinvest its returns and start building more facilities, thus making them strategic players in tomorrow’s energy needs.
How serious are they? The company expects to invest all in all more than $400 million in the manufacturing plant in order to take raw silicon in the process to make solar panels, by refining the silicon, growing crystalline ingots and turning them into wafers, cells and finally panels.
This is good news for the alternative energy industry as it proves that it can survive ups and downs in a tumbling market and places itself a renewable, clean and plenty abundant energy sources, right here in our backyards.