Microsoft, Qcells form strategic alliance to improve U.S. solar supply chain

Microsoft and Qcells partnership agreement

As part of its strategy to build U.S. solar supply chain, manufacturer Qcells has formed a partnership with Microsoft Corp. The companies are looking to enable a strong supply chain for new renewable electricity capacity projected to require at least 2.5 GW of solar panels and related services.

Owned by Hanwha Solutions headquartered in Seoul, Korea, Qcells will work with Microsoft to develop solar projects and provide panels and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to selected solar projects Microsoft has contracted for through power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Microsoft has committed to purchasing renewable energy with a goal of achieving 100% coverage of electricity consumption by 2025. The company is seeking to be carbon negative by 2030. Microsoft is extending its sustainability activities to support domestic production of green energy equipment in the regions it operates globally. Microsoft is supporting Qcells’ solar products, including those manufactured domestically, to bring more renewable energy to the grid. Qcells is the only company in the United States that will have a complete solar supply chain and provides one-stop clean energy solutions.

“Building a resilient solar energy supply chain is essential to advancing a global green energy economy. Microsoft’s partnership with Qcells will help make this vision a reality by bringing innovation and investment to rural Georgia,” said Brad Smith, vice chair and president of Microsoft. “As one of the world’s largest purchasers of renewable energy, this work will help bring more solar energy to the grid, faster.” 

This alliance is the first time a company that procures energy is working directly with a solar supplier to adopt clean energy on a big scale. The new collaboration is rooted in the two companies’ collective commitments to diversify the global energy supply chain, proactively lead the development of more reliable energy supply chains in the United States and abroad, and reduce carbon emissions.

“We’re striving to build and deliver turnkey clean energy solutions, including those made in America, and this partnership with Microsoft will help accomplish this vision,” said Justin Lee, CEO of Qcells. “Similarly, Qcells is proud to play a role with Microsoft to bring more renewable energy online in the years to come. This first step is only the beginning of a great partnership that not only supports our two companies but helps deliver a clean energy future for customers and communities.”

 The growing need for American-made solar products is expected to accelerate Qcells’ transition into a one-stop shop for clean energy solutions. Being the only company in the U.S. with a complete solar supply chain, Qcells intends to become a leading developer for solar and other clean energy solutions such as energy storage systems. Combining its growing EPC expertise with smart energy management system, Qcells will continue to provide completely clean energy solutions and lead the global fight against climate change.

— Solar Builder magazine



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