South Korea’s Qcells to Build $2.5 Bn Solar Factory in US; More Than Doubles Production

Highlights :

  • The new facility will manufacture 3.3 gigawatts of solar ingots, wafers, cells, and finished panels.
  • The factory will be in Georgia that will create 2,500 new jobs in the US state.

South Korea’s solar cells and modules maker Qcells will invest over $2.5 billion to expand its solar module manufacturing operations in Georgia, USA. Qcells will build a new facility in Cartersville and add a third facility to its Dalton location, creating more than 2,500 new jobs in northwest Georgia. These investments are expected to bring Qcells’ total solar panel production capacity in US to 8.4 GW by 2024 from 1.7 GW in 2022.

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Governor Brian P. Kemp made the announcement, “With a focus on innovation and technology, Georgia continues to set itself apart as the No. 1 state for business. Combined with our robust logistics infrastructure, top-ranked workforce training program, and collaborative approach, Georgia provides a business-friendly environment that means jobs for hardworking Georgians in every corner of the state and success for both existing and new companies.”

In 2019, Qcells opened the largest solar panel manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere in Dalton, Georgia. Qcells is expected to increase the number of employees in Georgia to more than 4,000 by the end of 2024.

Justin Lee, CEO of Qcells, said, “We are seeking to further expand our low-carbon solar investments as we lead the industry towards fully American-made clean energy solutions.”

The new project

Qcells will construct a new manufacturing facility located in Bartow County. The new facility will manufacture 3.3 gigawatts of solar ingots, wafers, cells, and finished panels. Qcells expects to break ground at the Cartersville site in the first quarter of 2023.

Due to the company’s rapid growth, Qcells said it will also add a new facility adjacent to the company’s existing plant at 300 Nexus Drive in Dalton. With its third Whitfield County facility, it will add another 2 gigawatts of production capability.

The solar industry has experienced an average annual growth rate of 33 percent for the last decade, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Supply chain challenges disrupted that growth in 2022, with a 23 percent decline in installations compared to 2021. Today’s announcement positions Qcells as the only company in the U.S. to establish such a fully-integrated, silicon-based solar supply chain from raw material to finished panel.

In Georgia, net electricity generation from renewable sources has increased by more than 93 percent since 2009, and the state’s electricity mix currently consists of 13.6 percent renewable energy. Over 4 percent of the state’s electricity now comes from solar power.

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