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Solar developers commit to spending $6 billion on American-made modules

Solar developers commit to spending $6 billion on American-made modules

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Leading Solar developers have pledged to spend $6 billion on American made modules in support of expanding the national solar supply chain.

AES Corp, Clearway Energy and Cypress Creek Renewables are the founding members of D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments has formed the U.S. Solar Buyer Consortium.

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

“The Consortium is building a pipeline of projects for solar energy in America. We are dedicated to America’s transition to clean energy,” stated Andres Gluski (CEO and President, AES). We are working with all types of customers to reduce carbon emissions and improve the reliability of their grid.

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A trade petition against module imports from Southeast Asia emphasized the need for a more robust U.S. solar supply chain.

Auxin Solar alleged that modules imported from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia were skirting U.S. trade duties against China. The Dept. of Commerce, and the threat of retroactive tariffs ranging from 50-200%, brought the industry to a standstill.

After facing backlash from the solar industry, President Joe Biden paused for two years new tariffs on solar modules imported from Southeast Asia and issued an emergency declaration to support domestic manufacturing.

Biden’s reprieve provides the U.S. Solar industry with a runway to increase domestic production, even though it is a brief one. U.S. solar module manufacturing capacity stands at less than 10 GW annually, while demand stands at more than 23 GW.

Long-term supply arrangements, such as those offered by the consortium, are a way to expand and support domestic manufacturing.

Another piece, as noted by Clearway Energy Group CEO Craig Cornelius, is a set of domestic manufacturing incentives included in the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act that is before Congress.


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