By Emma Wu
Hanwha Q Cells, a major manufacturer of photovoltaic cells and subunit of the multinational company Hanwha Solutions, has released plans of investing more than $2.5 billion to build factories in Georgia. This is projected to be the largest solar investment in the history of America. They predict these projects will supply about 30% of total US solar panel demand by 2027.
If this project comes through, the impact would be astonishing. President Biden states that this project would not only provide a renewable energy source and lower carbon emissions, but it would also provide good jobs, reduce reliance on other countries’ imports for solar panel components, and lower the cost of solar panels. This investment would help the environment, workers, and the economy.
This investment will go into building a new factory in Cartersville and improving on an existing facility in Dalton, Georgia. The factory in Cartersville, Georgia will convert raw silicon into polysilicon, polysilicon into ingots, and ingots into wafers. This is one of the only companies in the US that converts directly from raw materials to finished solar systems. This $2.31 billion plant is projected to hire 2,000 workers and fulfill one of the climate change and health care laws that Biden signed in August. In addition, the facility in Dalton will be expanded and improved upon with the investment. Presently, Q Cells announced that its solar modules are capable of generating 1.7 gigawatts of energy each year at the Dalton plant. The company announced that a $171 million second phase to expand the Dalton plant will add 470 workers, and a $181 million third phase will hire an additional 500 workers, pushing overall employment to over 1,700. Following these expansions, the company will be making 5.1 gigawatts a year at the Dalton plant. Adding this to the projected 3.3 gigawatts that will be made at Cartersville, the company will be making about 8.4 gigawatts a year with nearly 10,000 solar panels. The effect of this investment will make a profound impact on America’s economy and environment.