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"Portland solar manufacturer adding 50 jobs"

By Richard Read, The Oregonian
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A North Portland factory making silicon wafers for the solar industry will add about 50 workers as it expands capacity.

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. took over the plant, which employs about 80, recently when it acquired the owner, California-based Solaicx Inc.

MEMC, of St. Peters, Mo., is accelerating Solaicx's expansion plan.

Company managers estimate the plant will ramp up from its 60 megawatts in annual production capacity to about 300 megawatts next year.

"This is great news for Oregon and for our growing solar industry," said Tim McCabe, director of the Business Oregon state economic development agency.

McCabe and Ken Hannah, MEMC Solar Materials president, made the announcement at a Los Angeles trade show Friday.

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