|On January 11, South Korea’s solar energy company Qcells, a Hanwha subsidiary, announced plans to invest $2.5 billion to expand its solar manufacturing plant in Dalton, Georgia. Qcells also stated its intent to open a second factory in Cartersville, Georgia, with production commencing in 2024. The combined investment could potentially create 2,500 jobs. If completed, the Qcells project would be one of the largest clean energy manufacturing commitments since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022.
Why it matters: Qcells’ announcement suggests that the Inflation Reduction Act is having some impact both in ramping up solar panel production, hastening deployment, and boosting domestic manufacturing. Indeed, in late December, industry group American Clean Power reported over $40 billion of “grid-scale clean energy investments” had been made since the passage of the IRA. Coupled with approval of renewable energy projects in “red” states, these economic impacts could make some forms of clean power more bipartisan.