Solar Panels Built In The US Will Soon Become A Reality

In the US, two small solar manufacturers on March 27, 2024 said that they are joining forces in order to make panels that will help their customers- the U.S. solar project developers, to go ahead and collect a lucrative new federal subsidy for American-made clean energy equipment.

The agreement between Suniva, a Georgia-based solar cell producer, and Canada’s Heliene, which happens to be having panel-making operations in Minnesota, is indeed being touted by the Biden administration as evidence that the Inflation Reduction Act- IRA subsidies are succeeding when it comes to building a domestic solar manufacturing industry so as to compete with China.

Before this administration, the solar companies throughout the United States were indeed struggling, said the Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, who is going to visit Suniva’s Norcross, Georgia. She remarked that 20% of the U.S. solar manufacturing jobs got lost between 2016 to 2020.

It is well to be noted that Suniva itself happens to be restarting an idle factory.

As per Yellen, now, though there happen to be significant challenges, the Inflation Reduction Act tax credits are indeed helping change the game.

It is worth noting that under the three-year, $400 million deal, Suniva is going to supply cells to Heliene, which will then going to assemble them into panels. The products will be hence able to supply around 2 gigawatts of solar projects, says Suniva, and this will indeed be enough capacity so as to power almost 350,000 homes.

Solar project builders that make use of panels containing American-made cells are going to be able to claim a 10% tax credit for making use of domestic content, as per the Treasury Department rules that were unveiled almost a year ago. That bonus credit, which came into play in the 2022 IRA, has been considered elusive by the developers due to the fact that there is no current U.S. supply concerning silicon-based solar cells, the predominant sector technology.

It is well to be noted that some solar manufacturers have already lobbied for more stringent domestic content rules so as to counter a flood of Chinese-made products across the global market.

According to Cristiano Amoruso, the CEO of Suniva, this contract is indeed a testament to its effectiveness as far as the Inflation Reduction Act and Treasury’s May 2023 domestic content guidance are concerned. He did add that they are indeed proud to fulfil the long-standing promise in order to bring back cell manufacturing to the United States at their Norcross facility.

Notably, the domestic content bonus credit happens to be in addition to the 30% IRA tax credit when it comes to renewable energy facilities.