14 Mar 2023
Qcells, a global leader in complete clean energy solutions, announced that Danielle Merfeld will join the company as its global chief technology officer. Dr. Merfeld, a long-time expert in renewable energy, will accelerate the company’s efforts to enhance technology capability in the U.S. as it embarks on building the country’s first fully integrated solar supply chain.
"I look forward to helping Qcells continue to deliver innovative new energy solutions and am inspired by their historic investment in US clean energy manufacturing capability," said Dr. Merfeld. "Qcells is transforming bold ideas into action. I intend to use my experience in advanced energy solutions to build out R&D capability in the U.S. to serve growing demand and complement the global R&D team."
Qcells, which is owned by South Korea’s Hanwha Solutions, is on track to produce 8.4 gigawatts of solar panels by 2024 when it completes construction of its solar supply chain factory in Georgia. It is also working with Microsoft to develop solar projects through a multi-year, 2.5-gigawatt module supply partnership. Hanwha joins hands with LG Energy Solutions to build a battery factory for energy storage solutions in the U.S..
Dr. Merfeld comes to Qcells as the company seeks to enhance its technological prowess in the U.S., which sees growing calls for developing advanced solar technology amid an intensified race for global carbon reduction and clean energy solutions.
As a global chief technology officer, Dr. Merfeld will oversee Qcells’ research and development for advanced solar products, including perovskite-based tandem cells, which can absorb different wavelengths of sunlight more efficiently than single-layer solar cells. Qcells has pledged to commercialize such high-efficiency tandem cells by 2026 after its R&D team in Germany achieved a record efficiency of 28.7 percent last year.
Before joining the company, Dr. Merfeld accumulated expertise in solar and other renewable energy industries. Most recently, she has served as Chief Technology Officer of GE Renewable Energy and led technology innovation efforts for clean energy products and services, including photovoltaics, onshore and offshore wind, hydropower, hybrid energy storage solutions, and grid technologies.
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