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Consortium to spend $6 billion on US solar modules

AES, Clearway Energy Group, Cypress Creek Renewables, and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments have started looking for qualified US manufacturers.

From pv magazine USA

AES, Clearway Energy Group, Cypress Creek Renewables, and D. E. Shaw (DESRI), have formed the US Solar Buyer Consortium to support the expansion of the domestic solar supply chain and drive the growth of the US solar industry.

As a first step, the consortium launched a competitive request for proposal to search for qualified manufacturers who are aligned with the consortium’s goals and who can commit to a long-term strategic partnership to supply up to 7 GW of solar modules per year starting from 2024.

“Our group of companies comprise industry leaders that are committed to delivering cost-effective, renewable power for our customers. Our joint commitment to procure at this scale can provide the certainty suppliers need to ramp up capacity and overcome current supply chain constraints,” said David Zwillinger, CEO of DESRI.

Formation of the consortium follows the June 5 announcement by the US government of a 24-month tariff exemption on solar modules manufactured in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The administration also invoked the Defense Production Act and said it is using the full power of federal procurement capabilities to boost US solar manufacturing.

A recent Wood Mackenzie report estimated that with supportive policies, an additional 20 GW of US manufacturing would be added. Earlier proposals of the Build Back Better Act contained significant incentives for solar modules, trackers, inverters, and more.

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With the Build Back Better Act tabled, manufacturers hold out hope for the passage of Senator Jon Ossoff’s (D-Georgia) Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act,  which would offer tax credits for domestic manufacturing of modules, cells, and solar-grade polysilicon, as well as trackers and inverters. The incentives would be available through 2028 with a phase-down over the following two years.

The buying consortium hopes to encourage a stable, domestic supply chain for solar modules, which is sorely needed to get solar installations back on track. Increasing solar energy deployment is essential to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 C.

“Today’s announcement from the Consortium is just one step toward bolstering America’s solar supply chain,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway Energy Group. “With legislation pending before Congress, policymakers can scale our domestic manufacturing workforce and restore our country’s legacy as a manufacturing leader. We appreciate the Biden administration’s commitment to invest in American workers and urge lawmakers to seize this opportunity.”

For suppliers interested in responding to the request for proposal, send an email to [email protected]

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Source: pv magazine