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October 18, 2008

State's energy tax credit attracts German manufacturer

Mary Hudetz
Associated Press
October 18, 2008

HILLSBORO, Ore. – In the thick of Oregon's "silicon forest" and far from his home in Germany, SolarWorld founder Frank Asbeck walked through his company's newest plant Friday with the excitement of a child in a toy factory.

"This is like my playing field," said the 49-year-old Asbeck as he walked down a quarter-mile-long corridor and passed machines converting chunks of silicon into crystals. "Our parents didn't buy us enough toys when we were little."

The $440 million plant, which opened its doors Friday, covers 480,000 square feet. SolarWorld, with headquarters in Bonn, says the plant will make the company North America's largest solar cell manufacturer.

By 2011, the Hillsboro facility is expected to make enough cells to generate 500 megawatts of electricity a year, about as much as many coal- or natural gas-fired plants. Learn more...

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