MIDLAND, Mich. - Dow Corning Corp. announced that it will invest several billion dollars in industrial facilities to produce monosilane and polysilicon, materials that are used in many of today’s solar cells.

Dow Corning already produces polysilicon at a Hemlock, Mich., manufacturing facility run by its joint venture, Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. A new investment of $2.2-$3 billion will fund the expansion of that facility and the construction of a new manufacturing plant in Clarksville, Tenn., which will be run by a new joint venture, Hemlock Semiconductor LLC.

Polysilicon is a key ingredient in crystalline silicon solar cells. In addition, Dow Corning will build a new manufacturing plant next to its Hemlock facility for the production of monosilane, which is used to manufacture both thin-film solar cells and liquid crystal displays. Construction on the plant expansion and the new manufacturing plants is to begin immediately.

“Dow Corning and our Hemlock Semiconductor joint ventures hope to create a viable solar industry that produces new high-paying jobs, clean power technologies, and a revitalized economy,” said Stephanie A. Burns, Dow Corning’s chairman, president, and CEO. “We’re committing our resources, know-how, and technology because we are confident that solar technology represents a tremendous opportunity for both clean energy and economic growth.”

Publication date:01/19/2009