Setting New Milestones.
Hanwha Solutions’ Qcells is one of the world’s largest and most recognized photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers, known for its high-quality solar cells and modules.
Qcells selected Gray to design and build its first U.S. manufacturing operation. After the construction of an award-winning manufacturing facility, the customer selected Gray for a large project at the same campus to expand production and storage capacity.
Most recently, Qcells chose Gray to lead a monumental third project—the construction of the largest solar panel production plant in the U.S., in Cartersville, GA.
- LocationDalton, GA
- Square Footage1,183,598 s.f.
- Operational9 months; 15 months
High Performance, High Quality Solar Cells
Qcells is known globally as a provider of premium solar cells and modules. The customer identified growing demand from the U.S. and realized that the best way to serve this new market was to establish a production plant closer to its customer base, where the company could assemble and deliver high-performance PV modules.
Qcells needed its initial manufacturing operation up and running as soon as possible and challenged Gray to complete the project on a fast-track schedule. Thanks to an around-the-clock effort from project teams, subcontractors, and trade partners, Gray was able to complete the project in just nine months.
“We are pleased to have partnered with Gray for providing timely delivery of our manufacturing facility,” said Mr. Byeong Yong (James) Choi, Qcells President/COO.
Upon completion of the facility, Qcells became the largest-capacity solar power producer in the U.S., boasting an annual capacity of nearly 1.8 gigawatts—a measure comparable to the peak output of the Hoover Dam.
“With multiple trade teams performing work day and night, Gray maintained a 24-hour staff presence seven days a week to oversee the project, with zero lost-time incidents,” said Drew Romans, Vice President, Southeast Office. “The strategy of this schedule was to allow critical path work to be ongoing, while also allowing work that could not be done at night to continue during the day without congestion and interruption.”
In recognition of the project’s quality and success, Qcells placed first in the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Alabama Excellence in Construction® awards. Each year, the premier competition recognizes construction projects of outstanding merit within the region.
“The Gray submittal for Qcells was a shining star for our banquet this year,” said Jay Reed, president of ABC Alabama. “The safety, quality control, and expedited schedule set it apart from the competition immediately.”
Qcells Chooses Gray for Massive Production Expansion
Following the success of its initial U.S. operation, the customer selected Gray to expand the Georgia complex with additional manufacturing and storage facilities to increase its annual production capacity from 1.8 to 3.1 gigawatts, which will cement Qcells’ Dalton operation as the largest solar module plant in the Western Hemisphere. When completed, the combined production complex will measure more than 1 million square feet—more than tripling the size of the original plant. The new facilities will add 420,000 s.f. of production space, a 380,000 s.f. warehouse for raw and finished goods storage, and 12,000 s.f. of office space.
Gray is providing a wide range of services for the project, including virtual design and BIM, custom-fabricated process skid systems, and process & packaging systems engineering that incorporates automated guided vehicles (AGV) for efficient product movement. The company was once again challenged with an aggressive project schedule, which included the procurement and installation of cooling towers, rooftop HVAC units, switchgear, chillers, dust collection skids, and other production and utility equipment.
Throughout each project phase, the Gray team has prioritized developing a close partnership with the customer, consistently meeting project deadlines, and delivering first-class facilities. As Gray deepens its ties with Qcells, it has continued to enrich the surrounding communities by bringing hundreds of manufacturing jobs and quality sustainable products to the U.S.
Incredible Opportunity Deepens Relationship Between Gray & Qcells
Most recently, Qcells announced plans to partner with Gray on the construction of a production facility in Cartersville, GA, that President Biden described as “the largest solar investment in U.S. history,” which “will create thousands of good-paying jobs.” Gray is excited to strengthen our relationship with Qcells for the benefit of our companies, our communities, and American-made renewable energy.
The Dalton operation is currently the largest solar module plant in the Western Hemisphere. The customer’s latest investments will increase production capacity at that facility and the greenfield plant in Cartersville to a combined 8.4 gigawatts by 2024. Qcells intends to hire 2,500 people to support its leadership in the solar energy sector. Construction of the new facility ranks as one of the largest manufacturing projects in Georgia’s history.
Process & Packaging Systems Engineering
Automation & Controls
Custom equipment Ovens & cookers Process skids Batching equipment Clean-in-place systems Bioreactors Extruders Distributed products Mixers & blenders
- Q CELLS Receives ABC Alabama Award for New Georgia Facility
The new solar module plant is the largest in the Western Hemisphere and was named the first place excellence in construction award winner from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Alabama. The 300,000 s.f. plant boasts an annual production capacity of 1.7 gigawatts, an amount nearly equivalent to the peak output of the Hoover Dam. Gray engineered, designed, and constructed the greenfield facility in just seven months. The ABC of Alabama’s excellence in construction awards is a premier competition within the construction industry that recognizes outstanding construction projects by Alabama contractors.