South Korea-based solar panel manufacturer Qcells has signed an agreement with the nation’s largest commercial solar company to buy 2.5 million solar panels, most to be produced in Georgia, Vice President Kamala Harris announced Thursday.
Harris traveled to a Qcells factory in Dalton to unveil the largest domestic community solar purchase in history, which will generate enough electricity to power 140,000 homes and businesses. Summit Ridge Energy, the nation’s largest commercial solar company, will take advantage of federal tax credits for domestic energy production and manufacturing Congress enacted last year as part of the Inflation Reduction Act.
“It shows that when we invest in climate, invest in clean energy, and invest in U.S.-based manufacturing, we invest in America and its people,” Harris said Wednesday after touring the Dalton plant.
The vice president’s trip to Dalton was part of the Biden administration’s three-week Invest in America tour to highlight job-creating investments in infrastructure projects across the country, including plans to replace every lead pipe in the nation and extend high-speed broadband connectivity to rural communities.
Qcells announced in January plans to commit $2.5 billion to expand the Dalton plant and build an additional factory in Cartersville, creating 2,500 jobs. The Dalton factory is currently producing 12,000 solar panels daily, with plans to triple that capacity.
Summit Ridge Energy will use the solar panels to develop more than 350 community solar projects during the next four years, with the first 200 megawatts to be installed before the end of this year, according to a news release.
Community solar projects are a method of providing solar to individuals and businesses who are not able to install solar panels because they are renters or lack the ability to go solar for other reasons.
U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., who is in South Korea this week on an economic development mission, sponsored a solar tax credits bill in the Senate that became part of the Inflation Reduction Act.
“Working closely alongside Qcells, my solar manufacturing law continues to expand opportunity in Georgia and nationwide,” Ossoff said Thursday. “This new partnership will help deploy Georgia-made solar technology across the country.”
The Republican National Committee (RNC) responded to Harris’ trip to Georgia by charging the Biden administration’s economic stimulus agenda is responsible for fueling inflation.
“Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ out-of-touch agenda is crushing Peach State families and workers with higher prices, lower savings, and tighter incomes,” RNC spokesperson Rachel Lee said.