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Dow Corning Begins Construction at Solar Monosilanes Facility, Unveils New Solar Array and Education Center
event the company is calling “Solar Day,” Dow Corning will announce the start
of construction in Thomas Twp., of a manufacturing plant that will manufacture
monosilane gas–a key material used to manufacture thin-film solar cells.
Dow Corning will also unveil a solar panel installation and Solar Discovery
Center at its corporate headquarters in Midland, Mich.
“Autumn may be approaching, but the sun is shining brightly at Dow Corning.
And it is waiting for us,” said Stephanie A. Burns, Dow Corning’s chairman,
president and CEO. “There is still much work to do to make solar energy a
sustainable energy option for everyone, everywhere. These investments represent
our continued commitment to both innovating and using alternative energy
Dow Corning Monosilanes Facility
Located adjacent to Hemlock Semiconductor Group’s, Michigan
polysilicon manufacturing site, the Dow Corning Monosilanes facility will
manufacture high purity monosilane, a key specialty gas used to
manufacture thin-film solar cells and liquid crystal displays. The facility
represents an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars and will initially
employ approximately 30 people. The Dow Corning Monosilanes facility is
expected to be completed in 2011.
“This significant investment to become a leading supplier of monosilane for
thin film solar technology will expand our feedstock offering and will
further reinforce Dow Corning’s position as a material supplier across multiple
solar technologies,” said Eric Peeters, global executive director, Dow Corning Solar Solutions.
Dow Corning Headquarters Solar Array and Solar Discovery Center
The solar installation at Dow Corning headquarters features 136 solar panels
and will produce approximately 30 kilowatt-hours of power—the amount of
electricity consumed by approximately seven to 10 homes in a year.
In addition to providing clean, alternative energy to the electrical grid,
the solar installation serves as a testing ground for Dow Corning’s silicone
encapsulation solution. Half of the solar panels in the installation are
encapsulated with Dow Corning’s advanced silicone encapsulation solution
to compare and test in real-life conditions, with the other
half encapsulated using standard technology.
Dow Corning constructed a Solar Discovery Center adjacent to the
installation featuring interactive displays to educate visitors about solar
technology. The Solar Discovery Center offers the company an opportunity
to educate students and community leaders about how solar technology works as
well as about the company’s critical role in solar technology.
“It is important for everyone in our community, especially students, to
understand both how solar technology works and the opportunity it represents
for the world,” said Marie N. Eckstein, Dow Corning’s vice president and chief
administrative officer. “We would like to invite community and student
groups to contact us if they’re interested in seeing the solar panels and solar
The solar panel installation at Dow Corning’s headquarters is the third the
company has been involved with in Michigan. Others are at the Michigan site of
Dow Corning’s joint venture the Hemlock Semiconductor Group, and at Dow Diamond
in Midland, home of the minor league baseball’s Great Lakes Loons. In
total, Dow Corning and Hemlock Semiconductor are generating approximately 90
kilowatt-hours of solar power in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
In addition, Dow Corning’s Wiesbaden, Germany site is partially powered by
solar panels. The installation in Wiesbaden generates nearly 100 kilowatt-hours
of power, the amount of energy needed to satisfy the annual electricity needs
of 35 households.
Dow Corning’s silicon-based materials are used in solar cell manufacturing, solar module assembly and
installation. In the past five years, Dow Corning and its joint
ventures, the Hemlock
Semiconductor Group, have announced investments of more
than $5 billion to research and develop as well as to expand production of
materials critical to the solar industry.
To learn more about Dow Corning’s efforts to promote a comprehensive energy
policy that will support the growth and success of a vibrant American solar
energy industry visit www.dowcorning.com/solarpolicy.
Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse
needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones,
silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000
products and services via the company’s Dow Corning® and XIAMETER®
brands. Dow Corning is a joint venture equally owned by The Dow Chemical
Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales
are outside the United States.
The Hemlock Semiconductor
Group (Hemlock Semiconductor) is comprised of two joint ventures:
Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. The
companies are joint ventures among Dow Corning Corporation, Shin-Etsu Handotai,
and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. Hemlock Semiconductor is a leading
provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in
the manufacturing of semiconductor devices, and solar cells and modules.
Hemlock Semiconductor began its Michigan operations in 1961 and broke ground at
its Tennessee location in 2009.
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