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HILLSBORO, OR-SolarWorld Group said Friday it plans to expand its five-month-old, 480,000-square-foot operation here with a new 210,000-square-foot building. The existing building serves as a production facility for the Germany-based solar panel manufacturer. The new building, slated for completion in November, will be primarily a distribution facility.

“We are fully committed to not only marketing the proven renewable energy of photovoltaic technology in the United States but also manufacturing it here,” Boris Klebensberger, SolarWorld’s chief operating officer and president of SolarWorld Industries America, said in a prepared statement. “This project further demonstrates our resolve.”

SolarWorld acquired the property for its Oregon operations two years ago, paying $40 million for the 46-acre property, which came with a 400,000-square-foot building that SolarWorld converted into its production facility. The sellers, Benaroya Co. and Real Property Investors, paid just $22 million for the property several months earlier. SolarWorld later exercised an option for an additional 48 acres of adjacent land.

The facility is located on Northwest Evergreen Road, west of Shute Road. At the time it acquired the property, the company’s year-end 2009 goal was to be producing solar silicon wafers and solar cells capable of generating 500 megawatts of electricity per year, making it the largest solar-wafer and cell factory in the US.

With the new facility, the company says it will be able to realign production operations to make more efficient space of the main building’s full capacity. SolarWorld is among the largest and oldest US manufacturers of photovoltaic cells and modules. It also has US operations in nearby Vancouver, WA, and Camarillo, CA.

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