Qcells made it official today: its new solar panel manufacturing facility will be located in Dalton, Georgia. The $171 million investment will produce 1.4 GW of solar modules per year made with Qcells’ next generation TOPCon cells.
“Our additional investment in Dalton will help Qcells better serve the needs of U.S. customers with increased local manufacturing capacity,” said Qcells CEO Justin Lee. “Georgia has become the clean energy manufacturing heart of America, and we are proud to contribute to the state’s advanced manufacturing economy.”
Don’t forget that Qcells has a multi-billion-dollar U.S. expansion plan on hold right now — that would include investments along the entire solar module value chain, starting with polysilicon — that is tied to the passage of the stalled Solar Energy Manufacturing for America (SEMA) bill.
Located near the company’s existing 1.7-GW factory in Dalton, the expansion will bring Qcells’ total capacity in the U.S. to 3.1 GW, equivalent to one-third of the country’s solar module manufacturing capacity. Groundbreaking is planned for fall 2022 and operation is expected to commence within the first half of 2023.
“We are excited to see Qcells continue to expand in Georgia. The state of Georgia and Korea have enjoyed an outstanding partnership for decades, supported by a dedication to relationship building. We have been focused on bringing jobs and opportunities to hardworking Georgians across the state,” said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.
The investment marks Qcells’ latest efforts to rebuild the U.S. solar supply chain. In March, Qcells’ parent company Hanwha Solutions became the largest shareholder of U.S. polysilicon manufacturer REC Silicon to secure reliable supply of the raw material crucial to solar panel manufacturing.
“I appreciate Qcells’ sustained and growing investment in Georgia and the working relationship we’ve built to create more jobs and opportunities for Georgians. I will continue working to make Georgia a world leader in renewable energy innovation and manufacturing,” said Senator Jon Ossoff.
According to the Wood Mackenzie Q1 2022 U.S. PV Leaderboard report, Qcells obtained 24.1 and 20.6 percent market shares in the residential and commercial sectors, respectively, in 2021.
Qcells’ expansion in Dalton is expected to bring 470 new jobs to Whitfield County. With more than 750 staff employed at the existing factory, total local employees will exceed 1,000 when the expansion is complete.
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