Korean firm plans to invest $2.5 billion in Georgia for new solar panel plants
A South Korean solar panel maker will invest more than $2.5 billion to build factories in Georgia, hiring 2,500 new employees and making components usually manufactured outside the United States, the company announced on January 11, 2023. Qcells, a unit of Hanwha Solutions, will build a new factory in Carsville that will employ 2,000 people, with construction starting within weeks and production starting before the end of 2024. The company also announced a third phase of its Dalton plant, already the largest maker of solar panels in the Western Hemisphere. Qcells will add nearly 500 jobs in Dalton, raising employment above 1,500 once all expansions are complete there. Qcells now makes solar modules capable of generating 1.7 gigawatts of electricity each year at the Dalton plant. Following the expansions, the company will make 8.4 gigawatts worth of modules, or about 10,000 solar panels. That will include a capacity of 5.1 gigawatts in Dalton and 3.3 gigawatts in Carsville. “By 2027, the Qcells expansion is projected to supply about 30% of total U.S. demand for solar panels,” Biden clean energy adviser John Podesta told repors. “I think it’s fair to say that this deal is President Biden’s vision come to life.” “Qcells has long been a pioneer in the solar industry, and it solidified Georgia’s place as a leader in renewable energy and sustainable technology when it cut the ribbon on the largest solar panel manufacturing facility in the Western Hemisphere in 2019,” state Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said in a statement.