The first solar panel factory built since the passage of the IRA is complete

Solar giant Qcells announced today that it’s completed the expansion of its Dalton, Georgia, factory – what it calls the “largest manufacturing plant of its kind in the western hemisphere.”

It’s also the first solar panel factory to be built since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

Qcells has added 2 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity to its Dalton factory, bringing its full output to more than 5.1 GW. This is the third time the factory has expanded after opening in 2019. Two new solar products will be assembled there: the Q.TRON G2 residential solar panel and a bifacial panel for the utility market. Dalton is going to make nearly 30,000 solar panels per day. The factory expansion has created 510 additional jobs, and by 2024, Dalton will employ nearly 1,800 people.

Justin Lee, CEO of Qcells, said that the “Inflation Reduction Act and the efforts of Georgia’s economic development team helped make these ambitious plans possible, and with it thousands of careers in clean energy.”

In January 2023, the Seoul-headquartered company announced it would invest more than $2.5 billion to build a solar supply chain in Georgia – the largest-ever investment in clean energy manufacturing in the US to date. That included expanding the Dalton solar factory and building a fully integrated solar supply chain factory in Cartersville, Georgia, that will manufacture solar ingots, wafers, cells, and finished panels.

By 2024, Dalton and Cartersville combined will employ nearly 4,000 people. Its total output will reach 8.4 GW of solar production capacity per year, which is nearly 46,000 panels per day – enough to power 1.3 million homes annually.

Read more: The US’s oldest solar factory filed for bankruptcy in 2017 – but now it’s back

Photo: Qcells

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