SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — Hanwha Solutions Corp. said Wednesday it will invest 3.2 trillion won (US$2.57 billion) to build a production complex for solar panel parts in Georgia, the United States, as the company tries to strengthen its presence in the U.S.
The energy unit of Hanwha Group said the investment is meant to build a “solar hub” that can produce four critical components — ingot, wafer, cell and modules — used in solar panels.
Once the solar hub goes up and running next year, Hanwha Solutions will be the first company to hold a production facility encompassing all main components in the manufacturing of solar panels in North America, the company said.
Of the investments, 3 trillion won will be used to build a production complex in Cartersville, Georgia, with an annual capacity of 3.3 gigawatts. Commercial production is expected to start by the end of next year, the company said.
Hanwha Solutions also plans to increase the annual production capacity of its existing plant in Dalton, Georgia, from the current 1.7 gigawatts to 5.2 gigawatts by the end of this year, it said.
This will bring the company’s total production capacity in the U.S. to 8.4 gigawatts by the end of 2024, which can provide electricity to about 1.3 million households per year, the company said.
Hanwha Solutions said it plans to use polysilicon — another critical component in the solar panel manufacturing value chain — made by REC Silicon ASA, which it owns a 21.34 percent stake in.
“The Solar Hub will become a critical production base in the U.S.’ solar panel market, which is expected to grow around 20 percent every year,” a company official said.
Hanwha Solutions is the No. 1 player in the U.S. solar panel module market.