Hanwha Q Cells To Manufacture Solar Panels In The USA

Hanwha Q Cells

In another case of it you can’t beat them, join them, Hanwha Q Cells Korea has announced it build a solar panel manufacturing facility in the U.S. state of Georgia.

Hanwha Q Cells was one of a number of major solar manufacturers seeking an exemption from punitive duties known as the Solar Products Safeguard Measure (also referred to as the Trump Solar Tax or Trump Solar Tariffs), which was announced in January this year.

Hanwha Q Cells says construction of the factory in Whitfield County will start this year and is scheduled to be completed in 2019. Output capabilities of the facility will exceed 1.6 GW per year and its full output will be made available to affiliate Hanwha Q Cells Co. Ltd.

“The new manufacturing fab is testament to Hanwha Q Cells Korea’s commitment to the U.S. market, in spite of the recently imposed trade barriers,” stated the company.

The facility will provide PERC modules to the local market. While the company considers the USA is one of its most important markets, earlier this year it was reported Hanwha Q Cells Co. planned to diversify sales and look for other markets in order to avoid the tariffs.

Another major solar manufacturer to recently announce it would set up manufacturing in the USA was JinkoSolar, which also sought an exemption from the duties.

JinkoSolar’s first U.S. factory will be in Jacksonville, Florida, and is expected to create more than 200 direct jobs. The company has already started hiring and inked its first major supply deal for its US-made panels in late March –  it will supply NextEra Energy with up to 2,750 megawatts of modules (around 7 million solar panels) over approximately four years. JinkoSolar says it intends for the facility to “be fully operational sooner than the end of next year”.

Bloomberg reports the Solar Products Safeguard Measure could increase production capacity in the U.S. by at least 3.4 gigawatts, compared with 1.8 gigawatts at the end of 2017; however, the profits will wind up offshore, and automated production lines will result in few new jobs.

In other recent news from Hanwha Q Cells, the company released its unaudited financial results for Hanwha Q Cells Co. Ltd for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 on May 14. Total net revenues for the period were USD $443.0 million, down 30.4% from $636.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 and up 2.5% from $432.0 million in the first quarter of 2017.

As at March 31, its in-house, annualised production capacities were 1,600 MW for ingots, 4,300 MW for cells and 4,300 MW for solar panels. The company reported additional module availability of up to 3,700 MW (annualised) as of March 31, 2018 from Hanwha Q Cells Korea.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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