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Hanwha Qcells wins largest community solar deal in US

June 21, 2024 - 14:23 By Moon Joon-hyun

US commercial solar developer Summit Ridge Energy's community solar farm in Illinois. (Hanwha Solutions)

Hanwha Qcells, the solar energy division of Korean energy company Hanwha Solutions, has signed a significant agreement with US commercial solar developer Summit Ridge Energy to supply 2 gigawatts of solar modules by 2027 for community solar projects and collaborate on energy storage systems.

This new agreement marks the largest community solar partnership in US history, building on a previous 1.2 GW partnership announced in April last year when US Vice President Kamala Harris visited Hanwha Qcells' Dalton, Georgia facility. The additional 800 megawatts of solar modules will support over 100 community solar projects across the US, with production sourced from Hanwha Qcells' North American Solar Hub, slated to be fully operational next year.

Community solar projects allow individuals to collectively invest in solar power installations, making renewable energy more accessible to low-income households. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the US had installed 5.8 GW of community solar capacity by mid-2023.

Hanwha Qcells will also provide energy storage solutions and energy management system software to SRE. Acting as SRE's preferred supplier for energy storage system projects, Hanwha Qcells will handle procurement, supply, and offer its advanced EMS software, which uses AI technology to optimize energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness by analyzing consumption patterns and price fluctuations.

“Hanwha Qcells is recognized for both our solar manufacturing and our system development skills, which is why we landed this order for hardware like modules and battery storage, as well as software,” said Lee Koo-yung, CEO of Hanwha Qcells.

In addition to its equipment supply contracts, Hanwha Qcells is expanding its footprint in the US commercial solar market. In April, it signed a 450 MW turn-key contract with True Green Capital Management, a US-based energy infrastructure private equity fund. Under this agreement, Hanwha Qcells will provide modules for True Green Capital’s commercial and community solar projects, while its subsidiary Enable will handle engineering, production, and construction.