By Kim Seung-yeon
SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) — Hanwha Solutions Corp. announced on Thursday that its US-based solar panel unit has partnered with Microsoft Corp. signed to supply solar modules and related services for the American technology company’s ongoing projects.
Hanwha Q Cells will work with Microsoft to deliver more than 2.5 gigawatts of solar panels – enough to power 400,000 homes – and provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to solar project developers for the Microsoft contracts has completed on power purchases. according to publications by Hanwha and Microsoft.
The collaboration marks the first time Microsoft has worked directly with a solar supplier to introduce clean energy at scale, the US tech company said.
“Microsoft’s partnership with Qcells will help make that vision a reality by bringing innovation and investment to rural Georgia,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft vice chairman and president.
“We are committed to building and delivering turnkey clean energy solutions, including those that are made in America, and this partnership with Microsoft will help realize that vision,” said Lee Koo-yung, CEO of Hanwha Q Cells.
Microsoft has committed to purchasing renewable energy to achieve 100 percent renewable energy use by 2025. Hanwha Q Cells is the only company in the US that will have a complete solar supply chain from manufacturing to EPC services and other solutions.
Hanwha Solutions, a key energy unit of Hanwha Group, the seventh-largest conglomerate in South Korea, plans to spend 3.2 trillion won ($2.6 billion) to build a “solar hub” in Cartersville, Georgia.
It will produce four critical components: solar ingots, a raw material for manufacturing solar wafers that serve as the basis for solar panels, and wafers for cells and panels.
The facility will have an annual capacity of 3.3 GW and will enter commercial production late next year.
Hanwha Solutions also plans to increase solar production capacity at its Dalton, Georgia facility from the current 1.7 GW to 5.1 GW by the end of this year.
This will bring the company’s total production capacity in the US to 8.4 GW by the end of 2024, which can power approximately 1.3 million homes per year.