Both companies added that their alliance is also rooted in a desire to advance clean energy adoption and develop a U.S.-based supply chain for solar energy systems.
“Building a resilient solar energy supply chain is essential to advancing a global green energy economy,” Microsoft vice chair and president Brad Smith said. “Microsoft’s partnership with Qcells will help make this vision a reality by bringing innovation and investment to rural Georgia.”
Qcells — owned by the Korean conglomerate Hanwha Solutions — recently revealed plans to spend $2.5 billion on a massive expansion of its Georgia production footprint. Hanwha, federal and state officials say the Georgia project is the largest-ever investment in clean energy manufacturing in U.S. history.
Qcells hopes to break ground in the first quarter of this year on a new, 3.3-gigawatt plant near Cartersville, an hour northwest of Atlanta, and expand the capacity of its existing factory in Dalton by 2.1 gigawatts. Both facilities are expected to be operational by 2024 and will bring 2,500 jobs to the state.
Microsoft also plans to dramatically grow its presence in Georgia.
The company currently leases office space in two towers at Atlantic Yards, but in 2020, Microsoft paid roughly $150 million for 90 acres near the Westside Park. In the coming years, Microsoft plans to develop the land into a sprawling campus for thousands of employees, one of several new hubs the company is building around the country.
A note of disclosure
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