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Qcells and Microsoft plan to develop 2.6 GW of solar capacity

The two would develop solar projects as well as provide panels and EPC services to selected solar projects.

Qcells said it will work with Microsoft to develop solar projects as well as provide panels and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to selected solar projects that Microsoft has contracted for through power purchase agreements. 

The capacity covered under the announcement is expected to total around 2.5 GW.

The companies said in a statement that their agreement stems from their “collective commitments” to diversify the global energy supply chain, and develop more reliable energy supply chains in the U.S. and abroad.

Microsoft Corp. said it aims to be carbon negative by 2030.

In early January, Qcells said it planned to invest more than $2.5 billion to build what it said would be a complete silicon-based solar supply chain in the United States. 

The Korea-based company said it plans to break ground in Georgia during the first quarter on a facility to manufacture 3.3 GW of solar ingots, wafers, cells, and finished panels. 

The company said it also plans to assemble an additional 2 GW of solar panels at its Dalton, Georgia facility. The investment is expected to bring Qcells’ total solar panel production capacity in Georgia to 8.4 GW by 2024.

QCells’ parent company, Hanwha, recently became the leading shareholder in polysilicon producer REC Silicon. It said efforts are underway to manufacture polysilicon at the Norway-headquartered company’s factory in Moses Lake, Washington. That facility is slated to restart production in the second half of 2023.

According to a report released last fall, commercial solar accounted for 14% of all installed solar capacity in the United States. The Solar Means Business 2022 report named Meta, Amazon, Apple, Walmart and Microsoft as the top five corporate solar users in America.

Meta increased its installed solar capacity from 177 MW in early 2019 to 3.6 GW. Target remained as the top onsite corporate solar user. And Microsoft joined the top 10 by installing 479 MW of new capacity since 2019.

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