Qcells has announced it plans to invest more than $2.5 billion to establish a complete solar supply chain in the United States. In addition to its existing two solar module assembly facilities in Dalton, Georgia, the company will build a new factory in the state that will manufacture 3.3 GW of silicon ingots, wafers, cells and more finished panels.
In Q1 2023, Qcells will break ground on the new factory in Cartersville, Georgia, approximately 40 miles south of the company’s Dalton campus. The Cartersville site is expected to begin producing ingots, wafers, cells and panels in late 2024.
Qcells has operated a 1.7-GW solar panel factory in Dalton since 2019 and began constructing a second 1.4-GW factory last year. The company plans to add a third factory on-site that will produce 2 GW of panels annually. The Dalton campus will reach 5.1 GW of solar panel production later this year. Adding the 3.3 GW of panel capacity at the new Cartersville site, Qcells will have a total of 8.4 GW of silicon solar panel manufacturing capacity in the United States.
“As demand for clean energy continues to grow nationally, we’re ready to put thousands of people to work creating fully American Made and sustainable solar solutions, from raw material to finished panels,” said Justin Lee, CEO of Qcells. “We are committed to working with our customers as well as national and Georgia state leaders to bring completely clean energy to millions of people across the country.”
The two new Qcells factories are expected to create nearly 2,500 direct jobs in Georgia. An additional 510 people will be hired in Dalton, with the rest expected at the ingot and cell factory.
Qcells and parent company Hanwha Solutions’ investment in U.S. manufacturing is a result of the passage of manufacturing tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act. Qcells will receive credits for making its own ingots, wafers, cells and panels. Hanwha is also the leading shareholder in REC Silicon, which is expected to restart its polysilicon factory in Moses Lake, Washington, later this year. Qcells is the only silicon solar manufacturer in the United States to have its entire supply chain now established within the country.
“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.”
Alphonso Croom says
Thanks Kelly! Hoping they clarify the domestic incentive bonus soon as it seems to be a gray area.
Alphonso Croom says
Hi, I’m a big fan of your content. Do you know if installing a system with Qcells would qualify for the additional 10% tax credit bonus for domestic content under the IRA? I’m having a hard time getting an exact answer on this as I’m contemplating installing solar. Thanks
Kelly Pickerel says
We don’t yet have official guidance from the Dept. of the Treasury/IRS on domestic content requirements.
Green Ridge Solar says
This is great news! As solar panels become more and more in demand, we will see the increased manufacturing of solar panel components in the United States. We have the opportunity to become leaders in the energy infrastructure transformation, and we should jump on that opportunity!
Tom C says
Kelly, I wonder about the other components/materials that go into a module — front glass, backsheet, J-box, etc. What does the US supply chain look like for those products? Also, with all this manufacturing going on, it would be good to hear from the production equipment manufacturers to see how they’re addressing this spike in demand. Are they planning to start making any manufacturing tools (for wafers, cells and modules especially) in the US? What are the order>>delivery lead times for production tooling these days?