Korean solar company Hanwha Qcells announced plans to invest $2.5 billion in building a large solar manufacturing plant in Georgia, The New York Times reports. The substantial investment boosts President Biden’s efforts toward reducing America’s dependence on China for solar panel supplies.
“Today’s Hanwha Qcells announcement to make the largest solar investment in US history is a big deal for Georgia’s working families and the American economy,” Biden said in a statement, per Bloomberg. “This investment is a direct result of my economic plan and the Inflation Reduction Act.”
Last August, Biden signed the landmark Inflation Reduction Act, which included generous tax credit incentives for solar, battery, and electric-vehicle manufacturing. The law is a part of the administration’s agenda to expand domestic manufacturing and encourage the use of cleantech to fight climate change. The bill included $369 billion in investments in climate and clean energy programs.
Representatives from Qcells said that the company was making the investment in the new solar plant to take advantage of the tax credits and other incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, per the Times. The plant will produce the necessary components for building solar panels, many of which are exclusively made in China. In recent years, dependence on Chinese solar companies has led to slowdowns in US panel installations due to COVID-related manufacturing delays, trade disagreements, and allegations of forced labor in China, Bloomberg reports. If Ocells’ plans are successful, it will allow for some of the supply chains for solar energy to move to the United States. The new facility is expected to generate 2,500 jobs in Cartersville, GA, a town about 50 miles northwest of Atlanta.
“Once the plants go into full operations, the hub will have the biggest fully integrated solar manufacturing facilities in North America,” Hanwha Qcells Chief Executive Officer Justin Lee said in a press briefing, per Bloomberg.