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Hillsboro-based SolarWorld Industries Americas will expand its U.S. manufacturing capacities, according to an Oct. 28 report in Bloomberg News.


The story quoted SolarWorld CEO Frank Asbeck: “The market in the U.S. is growing, and it will continue to do so because system costs are coming down.”

But how much will expand? Will more jobs come to Hillsboro?

Further details will emerge soon. A major announcement was planned for Thursday in Hillsboro, attended by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee) and Mukesh Dulani, U.S. president of SolarWorld Industries America.

“The city of Hillsboro’s elected leaders and staff value our local businesses. We work hard to support them, to help them succeed and expand, and to help them provide additional jobs for local families,” said Patrick Preston, public affairs manager for Hillsboro.

Hillsboro is the site of SolarWorld’s U.S. headquarters and the “largest and most advanced solar photovoltaics production facility in the Western Hemisphere,” according to its annual report.

Last week, the company received a $4 million cooperative award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to further develop its silicon mono-crystallization technology while increasing the efficiency of photovoltaic cells.

SolarWorld manufactures and sells solar power solutions at all stages of production, including its own research and development.

The company employs 2,073 people at locations in Hillsboro as well as in Freiberg and Arnstadt, Germany, according to its March 2013 annual report. Headquartered in Bonn, Germany, SolarWorld was founded in 1998 and has been publicly traded since 1999.

Not long ago, in January 2013, shares had dropped by a third; the taxpayer-subsidized Hillsboro factory was laying off employees; and the possibility of sale or bankruptcy was under discussion.

Facing a longstanding industry crisis in the solar sector, the company restructured between late August 2013 and early 2014. Existing shares were reduced in a debt-for-equity swap worth on average 55 percent. To raise funds, new shares were issued.

In a dramatic turnabout, SolarWorld’s shipments jumped 50 percent in its third quarter, according to the Bloomberg story.

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