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Qcells investing $2.5 billion in US solar power manufacturing facility

Qcells is building a solar power manufacturing facility in Georgia, US, with a historic investment of $2.5 billion.

This is believed to be the largest solar investment in US history and will offer significant benefits to the state and national economies.

Gray Construction, a specialist builder in the manufacturing industry, and Stantec, an expert in sustainable design, were selected to provide construction, architecture, mechanical, electrical, plumbing engineering, structural, civil engineering, as well as environmental, water, and wastewater services.

Qcells is a subsidiary of Hanwha Solutions, one of the world’s largest and most recognized photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers.

The company anticipates increasing its solar module production capacity in the US from 1.7 gigawatts in 2022 to 8.4 gigawatts by 2024. Qcells intends to hire 2,500 people in Georgia to support its leadership in the solar energy sector.

Brian Jones, president and CEO of Gray Construction, says: “Having worked with Qcells, Gray is honored to continue our relationship on such a monumental investment.

“These projects will tremendously impact the people of Georgia, the American economy, and the solar industry.”

The new facility will house the entire solar panel manufacturing process, including ingot production, wafer processing, cell processing, and module production.

Leonard Castro, executive vice president for Stantec’s global buildings practice, says: “With a shared commitment to quality and innovation, we are proud to be part of establishing a reliable solar supply chain to the United States.

“Together with our partners at Gray, we are inspired by the opportunity to help Qcells create energy solutions that will support a more sustainable future.”

Inflation Reduction Act helps investment move forward

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act last year was a major driver in helping this project move forward. Under that Act, solar companies making solar panel components can claim tax credits. This project will help to significantly reduce the United States dependency on foreign PV manufacturers.

New focus on bringing production facilities closer to home

Stantec’s industry-leading integrated architectural and engineering team works within the global industrial sector, helping advanced manufacturing clients improve their operations, reduce costs, and optimize production flows.

Disruptions in the global economy over the past three years have increased fragility and expenses related to supply-chain management, making offshoring less enticing.

In response, manufacturers are increasingly seeking to simplify their supply chains, bringing production closer to demand, with many companies opting to add new factories in North America to increase net capacity.

Developing PV manufacturing in the United States can mitigate global supply chain challenges and lead to tremendous benefits for the climate as well as for US workers, employers, and the economy.

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