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Hanwha Qcells completes major solar project for Meta

May 30, 2024 - 13:59 By Moon Joon-hyun
A sweeping view of the newly completed 50-megawatt solar power plant in Borrego Springs, California, a project by Hanwha Qcells designed to supply renewable energy to Meta. (Hanwha Qcells)

Hanwha Qcells said Thursday that it had completed a major solar power and energy storage project in California to supply renewable energy to Meta, Facebook's parent company.

Located in Borrego Springs, California, the facility has 50 megawatts of solar modules and a 200-megawatt-hour energy storage system. Meta has been carbon neutral since 2020 and is committed to achieving full supply chain carbon neutrality by 2030.

A 50 MW solar capacity situates this project in the mid-range among utility-scale solar installations. The energy generated by this solar plant would cover roughly 3 to 4 percent of Meta’s total annual data center energy consumption.

A subsidiary of Hanwha Solutions specializing in making photovoltaic cells, Hanwha Qcells has been actively expanding its US portfolio. In April, the company completed a 150 MW solar power plant in Wyoming, where it provided a full range of services from project development and module supply to construction and securing a power purchase agreement. This plant was subsequently sold to Southern Power in November, optimizing profitability through asset management.

Furthermore, Hanwha Qcells entered a significant agreement with Microsoft in January to supply 12 gigawatts of solar modules and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services over the next eight years.

The company is also strengthening its presence in the global ESS market, which is experiencing rapid growth due to the increasing reliance on renewable energy sources. Energy storage systems are crucial for stabilizing power grids by storing excess energy generated during peak production times and releasing it during high-demand or low-production periods.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the global ESS market is expected to expand from $11 billion in 2021 to $262 billion by 2030. The US Energy Information Administration projects that the US ESS market will grow from $692 million in 2019 to $8.261 billion by 2025.

In 2022, Hanwha Qcells completed and secured revenue from seven ESS projects in the US, including a 380 MWh ESS project where it handled the entire development and EPC phases.

“We’re tapping into our big solar manufacturing base in North America to ramp up our project development, EPC, and power supply skills in order to meet the huge energy needs of global tech companies with custom green energy solutions,” said Hanwha Qcells CEO Lee Koo-yung.