South Korea-based photovoltaic (PV) cells manufacturer Qcells has announced a partnership with Microsoft to reduce carbon emissions and drive a clean energy economy.

As part of the collaboration, Qcells intends to provide over 2.5GW of solar panels and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services to certain solar projects with which Microsoft has power purchase agreements (PPAs).

The South Korean firm’s partnership with the technology major is expected to enable a robust supply chain for new renewable electricity capacity, which will be equivalent to powering more than 400,000 homes.

With a target of meeting 100% of its electricity requirements with clean energy by 2025, Microsoft has committed to buying renewable energy. The tech major also aims to become carbon negative by 2030.

Microsoft vice chair and president Brad Smith said: “Building a resilient solar energy supply chain is essential to advancing a global green energy economy.

“Microsoft’s partnership with Qcells will help make this vision a reality by bringing innovation and investment to rural Georgia. As one of the world’s largest purchasers of renewable energy, this work will help bring more solar energy to the grid, faster.”

The collaboration is said to be the first time a company that buys power is partnering directly with a solar supplier for large-scale adoption of clean energy.

Owned by Hanwha Solutions, Qcells is claimed to be the only company in the US that will have a complete solar supply chain, while providing one-stop clean energy solutions.

Qcells CEO Justin Lee said: “We’re striving to build and deliver turnkey clean energy solutions, including those made in America, and this partnership with Microsoft will help accomplish this vision.

“Similarly, Qcells is proud to play a role with Microsoft to bring more renewable energy online in the years to come. This first step is only the beginning of a great partnership that not only supports our two companies but helps deliver a clean energy future for customers and communities.”

Earlier this month, Qcells announced plans to invest over $2.5bn to create a complete solar supply chain in the US.

In Q1 2023, the PV cell manufacturer aims to commence construction on a new plant in Bartow County, Georgia, US which will have the capacity to produce 3.3GW of solar ingots, wafers, cells, and finished panels, respectively.