Energy solutions provider Qcells is expanding its partnership with Microsoft, inking an eight-year strategic alliance that could power nearly two million homes annually.
I suppose there are worse horses to hitch your cart to than a company so ubiquitous that trying to link to its website brings you to a sign-in page.
In Qcells’ largest module and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services agreement to date, the company will supply Microsoft with 12 GW of solar modules and EPC services over an 8-year period. This includes a 2.5 GW module and EPC services commitment previously announced in January 2023. The two companies will collaborate to bring an estimated 1.5 GW of solar panels per year to projects Microsoft has contracted through 2032.
“We are pleased to be a part of such a substantial commitment that will accelerate the global shift to renewable energy solutions. Qcells is uniquely positioned to ally with Microsoft towards creating a clean, sustainable future because of our investment in building an American-made solar supply chain,” said Justin Lee, CEO of Qcells in a release. “We look forward to expanding renewable energy frontiers together today and tomorrow.”
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The solar modules will be supplied by Qcells’ fully-integrated solar supply chain factory in Cartersville, Georgia, which is a part of Qcells’ $2.5 billion investment announced last year.
“Our expanded agreement with Qcells is designed to drive large-scale domestic production of solar modules essential to advancing a resilient U.S. supply chain and clean energy economy,” said Bobby Hollis, Vice President, Energy, Microsoft.
QCells, headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, uses passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) technology, which allows for the passivation of the solar cell’s rear side by installing a reflective layer designed to direct sunlight back into the cell where it can be converted into electricity.
The company opened its first factory in Georgia to manufacture 1.7 GW of solar. In 2022, it announced plans to add 1.4 GW to its manufacturing output.
Most recently, REC Silicon in Moses Lake, Washington, announced that it has begun the process of producing polysilicon, the raw material in solar modules. The once dormant factory was revived with a more than $200 million investment by Qcells’ parent company, Hanwha Solutions, in April of 2022. The polysilicon produced by REC Silicon will be utilized by the new Qcells factory in Cartersville, Georgia, once it is completed in late 2024.