Qcells, the world's leading clean energy solutions provider, announced that its new solar panel manufacturing facility will be located in Dalton, Georgia. The $171 million investment will boost production of advanced PV modules that will help the U.S. achieve its goals of decarbonizing the electric grid and creating good-paying manufacturing jobs.
"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."
The new facility will produce 1.4 gigawatts of solar modules per year made with Qcells' next generation photovoltaic cells, a high efficiency tunnel oxide passivated contact technology, better known as TOPCon.
Located near the company's existing 1.7-gigawatt factory in Dalton, the expansion will bring Qcells' total capacity in the U.S. to 3.1 gigawatts, equivalent to one-third of the country's solar module manufacturing capacity.
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.
Groundbreaking is planned for fall 2022 and operation is expected to commence within the first half of 2023.
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.
Qcells retains the largest market share in the U.S. commercial and residential markets. 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 is also a leading supplier to the utility solar sector.
"I'm thrilled that Qcells has decided to expand its presence in Dalton, and I commend the company's smart investments in Georgia," said Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock. "I'll continue working closely with Qcells to incentivize solar production and encourage additional economic investments that create good-paying jobs, in North Georgia, and every corner of our state."