Hanwha Q Cells targets US roofs

Hanwha Q Cells has launched a new unit targeting the US commercial rooftop market, as the company seeks profitability from 2014.

Hanwha Q Cells – which recently celebrated the one-year mark since Korea’s Hanwha Group acquired bankrupt German PV giant Q-Cells – is amassing a dedicated analytics team to identify potential customers within the US commercial sector, the company says.

The commercial rooftop segment is “poised for significant growth over the next few years” says Moon Hwan Cha, president of Hanwha Q Cells USA.

Many experts see the US commercial rooftop space as less prone to some of the threats facing the residential sector, such as the possible expiration of the Investment Tax Credit in 2016 and renewed efforts by some utilities to roll back statewide net metering schemes.

The commercial rooftop market is now larger than residential in many US states, particularly along the East Coast.

“Large commercial energy users are finding tremendous value in solar’s ability to lock in energy prices for decades, improving the bottom line and increasing operational reliability with onsite power,” says Cha.

Hanwha Q Cells will launch a new PV system designed specifically for the US commercial rooftop market in 2014, the company adds.

In its first year of operation Hanwha Q Cells launched a number of new products, and bumped up capacity at its Malaysia factory to 900MW – giving the Germany-based company 1.1GW of global module capacity.

"We have made important steps in fully utilizing our capacities in all plants, while increasing the efficiency of our production sites, thus reducing production costs significantly," says group chief executive Charles Kim.

The Hanwha Group is also owner of Hanwha SolarOne, a tier-one Chinese PV manufacturer. The potential future integration of SolarOne and Q Cells remains a point of considerable speculation within the PV industry.