Georgia gives US solar panel manufacturing a big boost with a new factory


Seoul-headquartered PV solar-cell manufacturing giant Q Cells today announced that it’s opening a new solar panel manufacturing facility in Dalton, Georgia.

Georgia solar panel manufacturing grows again

It’s a $171 million expansion of Q Cells’ existing solar module manufacturing plant in Dalton, and that will create 470 additional jobs. Total local Q Cells employees will exceed 1,000 when the expansion is complete.

Groundbreaking is planned for fall 2022 and operation is expected to commence within the first half of 2023.

This latest domestic solar manufacturing expansion will boost production of advanced photovoltaic (PV) modules, and that will help the US work move toward its goal of decarbonizing the electric grid.

The new facility will produce 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of solar modules per year made with Q Cells’ next-gen PV cells, a high-efficiency tunnel oxide passivated contact technology better known as TOPCon.

Combined with the existing 1.7-GW factory, the expansion will bring Q Cells’ total capacity in the US to 3.1 GW; that’s equivalent to one-third of the country’s solar module manufacturing capacity.

Qcells CEO Justin Lee said:

Georgia has become the clean energy manufacturing heart of America, and we are proud to contribute to the state’s advanced manufacturing economy.

Q Cells has the largest market share in the US commercial and residential markets and also supplies the utility-scale solar sector.

Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) met with Q Cells’ parent company Hanwha in Seoul last year and has been actively pitching and securing additional clean energy investment in Georgia.

Ossoff also recently helped secure Hyundai’s investment in electric vehicles that will create over 8,000 jobs in Bryan County.

Washington, Georgia, embraces solar

Also in Georgia, WeSolar CSP, a minority-owned renewable energy tech and design company headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, will design a solar farm along with a microgrid that will supply the City of Washington, Georgia, that will replace natural gas use. Washington is 90 miles east of Atlanta and has a population of around 4,000.

The project will comprise both solar panels and a concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) technology.

WeSolar CSP’s CEO, Steve Anglin, said:

The citizens of the City of Washington will benefit by having a cleaner environment and experiencing price certainty in the face of the ever-increasing energy costs of fossil fuels.

Read more: Here are 3 vital insights installers shared about the state of solar in 2021

Photo: Hanwha Q Cells

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