Qcells has disclosed that it intends to make an investment of greater than $2.5 billion in order to set up a comprehensive solar supply chain in the United States. The business will establish a new plant in the state of Georgia, which will be in addition to its two existing solar module assembly facilities in Dalton, Georgia. This new factory will have the capacity to produce 3.3 GW of silicon ingots, wafers, cells, and more finished panels.
Qcells plans to begin construction of a new facility in Cartersville, Georgia, during the first quarter of 2023. This location is approximately 40 miles south of the company's campus in Dalton. Late in 2024 is when it is anticipated that production of ingots, wafers, cells, and panels will get underway at the Cartersville location.
Since 2019, Qcells has been running a solar panel factory in Dalton with a capacity of 1.7 GW, and the company started construction on a second facility with a capacity of 1.4 GW in 2018. The company has plans to construct a third facility on the premises, which will have an annual production capacity of 2 GW of solar panels. In the latter part of this year, the Dalton site will achieve 5.1 GW of manufacturing of solar panels. With the addition of the 3.3 GW of panel capacity at the new Cartersville location, Qcells will have a total of 8.4 GW of manufacturing capacity in the United States for the production of silicon solar panels.
According to Justin Lee, the Chief Executive Officer of Qcells, "As the need for clean energy continues to expand on a national scale, we are poised to put thousands of people to work generating 100% American Made and sustainable solar solutions, from raw material to finished panels." "We are dedicated to working with our customers as well as national and Georgia state leaders to bring totally clean energy to millions of people around the country by working together,"
It is anticipated that the two new Qcells factories will result in the creation of almost 2,500 direct jobs in the state of Georgia. In Dalton, there will be an extra 510 workers hired, with the remainder anticipated to be hired at the ingot and cell manufacturing.
Because of the inclusion of manufacturing tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act, Qcells and its parent company, Hanwha Solutions, have decided to increase their investment in the manufacturing sector of the United States. Credits will be awarded to Qcells for the company's production of its own ingots, wafers, cells, and panels. Hanwha is also the leading shareholder in REC Silicon, which is planning to reopen its polysilicon facility in Moses Lake, Washington, later this year. The reopening is anticipated to take place in the fall of this year. The only silicon solar manufacturer in the United States that has its whole supply chain now established within the country is Qcells. Qcells is the brand name of the company.
“By building out a strong, reliable solar supply chain in America, we will tackle the climate crisis head-on while also creating good paying, manufacturing jobs right here at home,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to President Biden’s historic clean energy investments, we will continue to see game-changing announcements like today’s being made across the country for years to come – unlocking the next era of American energy leadership and accelerating our transition to an equitable, clean energy future.”
President Joe Biden released a statement on this announcement:
“Hanwha’s Q CELLS investment will create thousands of good-paying jobs in Georgia, many of which won’t require a four-year degree. It will bring back our supply chains so we aren’t reliant on other countries, lower the cost of clean energy, and help us combat the climate crisis. And, it will ensure that we manufacture cutting-edge, solar technology here at home. It’s a win for workers, consumers, and our climate.”