Korean-owned solar giant Qcells on Thursday officially confirmed reports of its plans for a major expansion at its Dalton, Ga., plant. 

News agencies including Global Atlanta reported last week that the subsidiary of Korea’s Hanwha Group would invest $171 million in the United States, but the company at the time declined to confirm whether the new jobs would come to Dalton, where it already employs 750 people and makes 12,000 solar panels per day.  

The expansion will nearly double power-generation capacity, adding 1.4 gigawatts to the current 1.7 gigawatts, while creating 470 new jobs.  

The confirmation comes on the heels of yet another record-breaking Korean investment in the state: a $5.54 billion Hyundai Motor Group plant announced last week that would bring a total of more than 8,000 jobs including suppliers.  

Hanwha is in the midst of an ambitious expansion plan driven by the need to localize production in the United States to comply with domestic regulations and meet growing demand for clean energy.  

Construction on the new facility at 310 Nexus Drive in Dalton is set to begin later this year, and production could start in the first half of 2023. The company says that after the expansion, it will represent one-third of total solar panel production in the U.S.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...