Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Hanwha solar panel factory

Clean Power

Hanwha Q Cells Dedicates Largest Solar Panel Factory In Western Hemisphere

Hanwha Q Cells has dedicated its new solar panel factory in Dalton, Georgia, claiming it is the largest such factory in the western hemisphere.

Hanwha Q Cells officially opened its 300,000 square foot solar panel factory in Dalton, Georgia last week, claiming it is the largest such manufacturing facility in the western hemisphere. The $200 million factory employs more than 650 workers and is capable of producing 12,000 solar panels per day — enough to generate 1.7 GW of electricity. Its standard production panel features six bus bars, has an efficiency of about 19%, and an output of up to 345 watts.

Hanwha Q Cells solar panel factory

Credit: Hanwha

The Georgia factory began producing panels in January and and started shipping them to customers in February. At full capacity, it will have three production lines operating simultaneously. “The factory is currently producing over 10,000 modules per day and very close to the full 12,000-module-per-day capacity,” Scott Moskowitz,director of strategy and market intelligence for Hanwha, tells PV Magazine. “We expect to be running at full capacity by the end of the year.”

Politics & Power

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who stole the election last year by systematically denying access to the polls to African American voters while he was running for governor and serving as Georgia’s secretary of state, trotted up to Dalton to say a few words about the new plant, claiming it makes northwest Georgia “a hub for the manufacturing of clean, renewable energy sources.”

There are currently three other solar panel factories in operation or under construction in the US — LG’s 500 MW factory in Alabama, Jinko Solar’s 400 MW fab in Florida, and First Solar’s 1.2 GW production line in Lake Township, Ohio. PV Magazine points out that the decision to move forward on all four came after the Republican-controlled Congress rammed through a massive tax cut for corporations in 2017.

Since then, Trump’s tariffs imposed as part of his trade war with China have added an extra economic incentive to manufacture solar panels in America. But as PV Magazine points out, the total output of all four factories will be about 5 GW while the US as a whole is on pace to install 12 GW of solar power next year. Clearly lots of panels are still coming into the US from foreign countries.

We haven’t forgotten about the Tesla/Panasonic factory in Buffalo, New York, but its production is negligible at present and there are concerns it may never begin producing more than a trickle of panels, so it is largely irrelevant to the conversation.

PV Magazine also points out that all the solar cells used in the Hanwha, LG, Jinko Solar, and First Solar are manufactured outside the US. Trump’s tariffs on those cells are hurting America’s quest to make its utility sector carbon neutral by driving up the cost of domestically manufactured solar panels no matter how you look at it.

Bear in mind that tax policies and tariffs can change quickly. If a future administration alters either or both, the long term prospects of these four factories could be in doubt as corporations continue to seek the lowest possible cost of manufacturing.

 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: Cruise Talks Autonomous Driving Tech, Regulations, & Auto Design

New Podcast: Battery Mineral Mining Policies & Regional Trends

Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Batteries

Under pressure from the Biden administration, LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation have resolved their long running legal battle.

Batteries

By Tim Echols Georgia leaders from both parties recognize that the supply chain for electric vehicles needs to go through our state. However, one...

Batteries

On National Solar Appreciation Day, Georgia Power announced that it is adding 2,260 megawatts (MW) of renewables to its energy mix by 2025. The...

Buildings

Originally published on ILSR.org Since rooftop solar became possible, electric utilities have struggled to incorporate it into their outdated business model. In recent years,...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.