The deal secures substantial and steady demand for panels manufactured at Qcells' newly established $2.5 billion factory in Georgia. For Microsoft, the agreement aligns with its objective of achieving 100% renewable energy to power its operations by 2025, mitigating supply chain risks.
Bobby Hollis, Microsoft's Vice President for Energy, emphasized the strategic and thoughtful approach required to meet renewable energy goals in a competitive environment. The expanded agreement builds upon the initial 2.5-gigawatt contract signed a year ago, elevating Microsoft's total commitment to 12 GW, equivalent to powering approximately 1.8 million homes.
Qcells aims to establish a robust solar supply chain in the United States through collaboration with Microsoft, intending to compete with China in the clean energy components market. The company will oversee the production of silicon ingots, wafers, cells, and the modules themselves, distinguishing itself by building the entire supply chain domestically.
Most solar panels assembled in the United States currently rely on components manufactured in Asia, where prices have experienced significant declines over the past year. The Inflation Reduction Act, part of President Joe Biden's incentives, aims to strengthen domestic production of clean energy components, reducing dependence on overseas goods.
Jihyun Kim, Executive Vice President at Qcells (a division of Hanwha Solutions Corp), emphasized the uniqueness of their approach, being the sole entity building the complete supply chain, attributing this capability to the strategic partnership with Microsoft.