When it comes to market share in the world of distributed generation, Q Cells reigns, as Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables’ Q1 2020 U.S. PV leaderboard report shows the manufacturer holding the top market share for both residential and commercial and industrial solar modules for the first time.
According to the leaderboard, Q Cells owns a commanding 25.2% of the residential market, while controlling 13.3% of the commercial and industrial market. That residential market share has nearly doubled since 2019, when it was at 14.1%. This marks the first time in the history of the list that a company has claimed a 25% or greater share of the residential market.
“It is inarguable that the U.S. is and will always be one of the most important markets for most solar companies, including Q CELLS,” said CEO of Q CELLS, Hee Cheul Kim. “Achieving No.1 market share in the U.S. residential and commercial segments is clear evidence that proves Q CELLS’ global competitiveness, ambition and ability to consistently deliver customer satisfaction. Q CELLS will continuously make every effort possible to provide customers with top quality products and services in the U.S. to further strengthen our market leadership.”
Made in America
A critical step in Q Cells’ rise to running the distributed generation markets came in September 2019, when the company opened its panel manufacturing factory in Dalton, Georgia. With 300,000 square feet of floor space, 650 workers and 1.7 GW of annual production capacity, the facility is the second-largest solar panel manufacturing plant in the Western Hemisphere, just behind the recently-expanded 1.9 GW First Solar factory in Lake Township, Ohio. At peak production, the Dalton facility can turn out 12,000 module per day.
Just two hours down the road in Newton County, Georgia, the BLK-G6 line is being used in the 102.5 MW solar project powering Facebook’s new data center.
Q Cells was one of four major module manufacturers that established American facilities in direct response to the changes to U.S. tax code made by Congress in late 2017, as well as the Section 201 tariffs. Jinko set up a 400 MW factory in Florida, while LG has a 500 MW factory in Alabama and First Solar has its aforementioned 1.9 GW factory in Lake Township, Ohio.