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The Inflation Reduction Act has clearly kickstarted investment in U.S. clean energy manufacturing. Last year, automakers and battery manufacturers announced that they’d spend tens of billions of dollars to ramp up EV production in the U.S. Now it’s solar’s turn.
Today, Korean solar manufacturer Hanwha Qcells announced that it’ll spend $2.5 billion to build a new plant in Georgia and expand an existing one.
The new plant will crank out 3.3 gigawatts of solar panels annually. That’s enough to supply nearly a fifth of current U.S. demand. Expansion at the other plant will add another 2 gigawatts of capacity. When completed, Qcells’ Georgia facilities will employ 2,500 people and will be capable of making 8.4 gigawatts of solar panels, cementing the Peach State’s status as a leader in solar manufacturing.
Qcells’ new campus won’t just be a final assembly plant, either. It will handle just about everything, from turning polysilicon into ingots, slicing ingots into wafters, turning wafers into cells and packing cells into panels. It’s a level of vertical integration that is seldom seen in the U.S.