ICYMI: Georgians Welcome Vice President Harris to Dalton, Celebrate Historic Economic and Climate Investments in the Peach State

April 7, 2023

“It’s a big nod to U.S. manufacturing – the Biden-Harris administration has done a tremendous amount in a short amount of time”

Yesterday, Georgians welcomed Vice President Kamala Harris to Dalton as she announced a historic investment in the Peach State’s solar industry that will boost Georgia’s economy, fight climate change, and create thousands of good-paying jobs right here at home.

The Vice President announced a $2.5 billion expansion for Dalton’s Qcells solar plant – the largest community solar project in U.S. history – which will create 2,500 new jobs and have the potential to power 140,000 homes and businesses.

See what Georgians are hearing and seeing about the historic announcement:

Atlanta News First

  • ANF Anchor: Vice President Kamala Harris making a huge announcement during her visit to Dalton today… She unveiled a historic investment – the largest ever in the U.S. solar power.”
  • Doug Reardon, ANF: “Just a few hours ago, Vice President Kamala Harris was here at this Qcells plant behind me making a huge announcement: the biggest investment ever in the U.S. history for solar energy.
  • “This isn’t just a moneymaker for Georgia, it is also a job maker too. Qcells says they are planning an expansion for this project of 2500 jobs, and they are also building a brand-new facility in next-door Cartersville.” 

FOX 5 Atlanta: 

  • FOX 5 Anchor: “Big day for those in Dalton as Vice President Kamala Harris paid a special visit to tour a solar panel factory. And with that visit came a big announcement.”
  • FOX 5 Anchor: The announcement comes as part of the Biden Administration’s Investing in America tour, where Harris says they hope to create jobs, fix infrastructure, and also provide a clean energy future for the country.
  • “It was plenty of pomp for a big circumstance as Vice President Kamala Harris spent Thursday morning touring the Qcells solar panel manufacturing facility in Dalton.”
  • Vice President Harris: “Today I am proud to announce that Qcells has received a new order. for 2.5 million solar panels.”
  • FOX 5: “With the visit came a big announcement: the largest community solar order in American history… Harris says it’s part of what’s called a community solar project providing access to underserved communities.”
  • VP Harris: “In all, the solar panels in this one order will provide enough electricity to power 140,000 homes.”
  • FOX 5: “The VP also says Qcells plans to expand their operations to build a solar facility next door in Cartersville…”
  • VP Harris: “…to triple the size of this factory, and to create 2500 more jobs right here in Georgia. So since taking office, we have created more than 12 million jobs, including many good paying union jobs.”
  • FOX 5: “Harris took the time to highlight what she believes are accomplishments of the Biden administration, including rebuilding infrastructure and providing clean water.
  • “As for the community solar project, the Vice President says it saves customers an average of 10% on their power bills. Again, this all is part of the administration’s work for clean energy and climate change.”

11Alive Atlanta:

  • Ron Jones, 11Alive News: “In the last couple of hours, Vice President Kamala Harris is wrapping up her trip in Georgia. She made her stop in Dalton today, as part of her Investing in America tour. She announced a project that will bring jobs and clean energy power to Georgia.”
  • “She talked about what Harris called the largest community solar order in American history.”
  • Paola Suro, 11Alive News: “Hours ago, Vice President Kamala Harris was here announcing a historic investment in solar power in Georgia, and it involves manufacturing 2.5 million solar panels.”
  • V.P. Harris: “…to build hundreds of solar arrays in states like Illinois, Maine and Maryland because of the work that is happening right here.” 
  • Suro: “[Harris] says the goal is to build these solar panels to lower 140,000 homes, making electricity on average 10% more affordable than traditional power for those customers.”
  • VP Harris: “These projects are known as community solar projects, which will help reach folks who otherwise might not be able to have access to solar power.” 
  • Suro: “She says this will help create 2500 jobs in Georgia.”
  • VP Harris: “Technicians and engineers and I.T. specialists, data analysts – jobs that give folks the opportunity to grow and advance right here in the community.”
  • Suro: “Summit Ridge Energy CEO Steve Raeder says Harris’s visit validates the hard work they have been doing for the manufacturing industry.”
  • Steve Raeder, CEO of Summit Ridge Energy: “It’s a big nod to U.S. manufacturing – the Biden-Harris administration has done a tremendous amount in a short amount of time.”
  • Suro: “This is part of her Investing in America tour, where the Biden-Harris administration has been talking about the rebuilding of infrastructure and bringing clean energy to the U.S. 
  • “Harris adds that manufacturing is growing faster than it has in decades, and she says that is part of the reason unemployment is close to being the lowest it has been in 50 years.”

WSB-TV Atlanta:

  • WSB-TV Anchor: “Vice President Kamala Harris visited a north Georgia solar panel manufacturing plant this afternoon, and in an exclusive interview with Channel 2 Action News, praised solar power as the future of the environment and the economy… the vice president believes solar energy really should be a bipartisan issue.”
  • Richard Elliot, WSB-TV: “Vice President Kamala Harris toured Dalton’s Qcells plant Thursday to tout the Biden Administration’s multi-billion dollar investment into Georgia’s clean energy economy. She says it helped grow jobs like this. Qcells builds solar panels and just announced it’s investing another 2.5 billion dollars to expand this plant and open a new one in Cartersville.
  • Vice President Harris: “Right here in Dalton, Georgia, we’re looking at some of the most significant U.S.-based manufacturing by American workers of solar panels around the country and around the world.”
  • Elliot: “Harris told me the Biden Administration’s efforts have spurred billions of dollars in investments in Georgia.”
  • VP Harris: “Because of our work, we have spurred over 31 billion dollars in private investment in manufacturing right here in the state of Georgia.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Five reasons the massive Qcells solar panel deal is big for Georgia

Zachary Hansen, 4/7/23

  • Vice President Kamala Harris toured an expanding solar panel facility in northwest Georgia on Thursday, where she announced a historic order for millions of Georgia-built panels and credited federal policies for new clean energy jobs.
  • Harris called it the largest commitment of its type in U.S. history.
  • Community solar projects focus on apartment buildings, clusters of businesses and other structures shared by groups.
  • Residents, businesses or other groups pool resources to deploy and connect to solar arrays built in other locations, allowing them to buy or lease access to the installations. There are several such arrangements in Georgia. Harris said these projects, on average, will result in 10% lower energy costs for participants.
  • Qcells announced a $2.5 billion expansion in January, which the company and elected officials called the largest ever investment in American clean energy manufacturing. The company is expanding its current facility’s capacity to 3.1 gigawatts while also building a new 3.3-gigawatt plant near Cartersville.
  • The new production at both facilities is expected to be online by 2024 and bring 2,500 jobs to the state.
  • White House officials focused on the irony of clean energy facilities creating jobs in areas where local representatives have been critical of efforts to combat climate change and ween the nation off fossil fuels. [Rep. Marjorie Taylor] Greene, along with every Republican in Congress, voted against the Inflation Reduction Act, the Democrats’ signature climate and health bill, which includes huge incentives for green energy projects.
  • Georgia has emerged as a national leader in clean tech manufacturing, boosted by federal climate-focused incentives and state and local inducements.

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