Hanwha Solutions [009830:KS], a South Korean energy service provider and petrochemical firm, has signed a deal with Summit Ridge Energy (SRE), the largest commercial solar company in the US, to supply 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of solar panels, as reported by the Korea Economic Daily on April 7. Under the agreement, Hanwha’s solar subsidiary, Hanwha Q Cells [HQCL:US],will provide SRE with 2.5m solar panels that are fully made in the US, offering electricity to 140,000 homes and businesses in several states, including Illinois, Maine, and Maryland. US Vice President Kamala Harris called it the largest investment in solar energy in US history.
Hanwha is attracted by a set of US preferential policies that encourage investments in the solar sector, including those included in the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). To build a solar value chain, the US government has provided tax credits for companies to purchase American-made solar modules under the IRA and has invested billions more to construct and expand solar module factories. In January 2023, Hanwha announced plans to invest USD2.5bn to build the largest solar module production hub in the US and USD3bn to build a production complex to produce wafers, cells, and modules. With these investments, Hanwha aims to raise its combined module production capacity to 8.4GW by 2024 from the current 1.7GW.