Georgia is experiencing a tremendous revolution in clean energy – the largest investment of its kind ever seen in the US. It’s expected to create thousands of jobs, and Georgia Tech will have an essential role as this magnificent undertaking propels solar power across the state and beyond.
Qcells, a renowned solar power enterprise, is determined to construct an amazing $2.3 billion manufacturing complex near Atlanta in Cartersville. This new facility will not only manufacture cutting-edge components for solar panels but also assemble the entire panel units that can be utilized from residential homes to massive commercial and industrial arrays of solar cells!
In 2019, Qcells took a big step forward with its first plant near Dalton, Georgia. By 2022, it will become one of the western hemisphere’s largest producers of solar panels. To improve their operations, representatives from Qcells have visited Rohatgi’s research facility at Georgia Tech, and his team visiting their Dalton facility.
Home to some of the world’s most renowned researchers and experts, Georgia Tech is proudly at the forefront of solar energy conversion. Led by Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena – assistant professor and Goizueta Junior Faculty Rotating Chair in the School of Materials Science and Engineering – his research group has been tirelessly striving for innovative materials that can be used to transform sunlight into electrical power.
Rohatgi, a renowned expert in photovoltaics and the creation of electricity using silicon-based materials, is also the founding director of The Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics Research and Education – established with funding from both universities and the United States Department of Energy. This center focuses on improving existing materials used to make solar cells while also looking for new methods to increase their efficiency.
“As clean energy continues to gain popularity, we are ready to offer sustainable American-made solar solutions from raw material to finished panels,” said the CEO of Qcells, Justin Lee. “We are committed to working with our customers and national and Georgia leaders across the country to provide clean energy options for millions of people.”
Executive director of the Strategic Energy Institute, Tim Lieuwen, and Regents’ Professor, added that Georgia Tech is uniquely positioned to be a valuable partner in this project. Due to its core technologies related to clean energy industries, nationally distinctive researchers and facilities, and educated undergraduate and graduate students in these areas. He believes this expansion is good news for Georgia Tech and the state of Georgia as a whole because it will help emerging industries such as electric vehicles, batteries, and hydrogen power progress further.
Professor and vice president for Interdisciplinary Research, Julia Kubanek, commented: “I am enthusiastic about this expansion because it builds on other clean energy sectors that already exist or plan on getting established in our state. The expansion by Qcells is just one example where Georgia Tech can put its ingenuity and innovation into action. The Southeast has become known as a center for cleantech innovation, with Georgia Tech playing a key role within this ecosystem.”
Overall production at the new Qcells solar plant is expected to commence sometime during 2024, which could potentially have implications locally and regionally by contributing towards job creation and economic stimulus thanks to advances made within renewable energy sources.
Jonas Muthoni is an entrepreneur and renewable energy expert. He is the founder of MicroGridMedia.com, a website dedicated to bringing the latest news and information about solar energy and other renewable energy sources to the public. Jonas is passionate about promoting sustainable energy solutions and educating the public about the benefits of renewable energy. He is a regular speaker at industry events and conferences and is committed to driving the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.