DALTON, GA—The South Korean company Hanwha Q Cells USA has opened the largest solar module manufacturing plant in North America. The $200 million factory will employ 650 people and produce enough solar panels each year to generate as much peak power as the Hoover Dam.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said the factory is one of 13 foreign direct investments this year in Georgia from Korea—more than any other country.
“This is a fantastic technology in an emerging industry, and it’s great to see this type of manufacturing come to Georgia,” Kemp said after touring the plant. “This is not only great for the people employed here, but it will also help our farmers who are putting up solar farms all over our state.”
Built in just seven months, the plant is Hanwha’s first U.S. factory.
The United States is second only to China as a market for new solar power generation. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar power generates about 2.3 percent of all electricity for homes and utilities in America, but the technology is gaining favor as its costs decline. The association hopes that solar power will produce 20 percent of America’s electricity by 2030.