Sunrise brief: Senate bill eyes $8bn in tax credits to boost clean energy jobs


U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) unveiled the American Jobs in Energy Manufacturing Act of 2021.

If passed by Congress and signed into law, the bill would make available up to $8 billion in federal tax credits to spur domestic manufacturing of advanced energy technologies in rural communities hit by a loss of manufacturing and jobs in coal mining and coal-fired power production.

Manchin is chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Stabenow also sits on that committee as well as the Senate Finance Committee.

The bill would update Section 48C of the Internal Revenue Code, Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, to provide tax credits for manufacturers and other industrial users. Credits would be used for investments in advanced electric grid, energy storage, fuel cell equipment, renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment, and advanced light- medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles, among other categories. The bill would include a $4 billion carve out for use in places where coal mines have closed or coal power plants have retired.

A number of groups endorsed the legislation, including, Third Way, BlueGreen Alliance, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, American Automotive Policy Council, United Steelworkers, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, Electric Drive Transportation Association, Zero Emission Transportation Association, Stellantis, United Mine Workers of America, Ford Motor, General Motors, Information Technology Industry Council, League of Conservation Voters, American Automotive Policy Council, and Alliance for Automotive Innovation.

PPA for Space City Solar

EDF Renewables North America announced a power purchase agreement for the second tranche of the Space City Solar Project with a unit of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. for 100 MWac / 132 MWdc. The project’s total capacity is up to 345 MWac / 455 MWdc. Space City Solar is southwest of Houston, and is expected to break ground this summer. The project will use bifacial PV modules.

Nextracker wins Brazil order

Nextracker said it was tapped by Brazilian EPC firm Andrade Gutierrez and developer Elera Renováveis (formerly Brookfield Energia Renovável) to supply 830 MW of its NX Horizon single-axis solar tracker technology for Phase I of the 830 MW Janaúba solar complex in Brazil. The plant will be one of the largest of its kind in South America and is scheduled to enter service by early 2022. Nextracker’s local office will support the project with engineering help as well as commissioning, asset management, and data analytics services for preventive maintenance.

Brazil is one of the fastest-growing solar markets in Latin America, and has 7.4 GW of cumulative solar installations to date.

Polysilicon supply deal

Daqo New Energy Corp., a manufacturer of high-purity polysilicon for the global solar PV industry, signed a three-year supply deal with Zhonghuan Semiconductor for its solar wafer business. Both companies are based in China. Under the agreement, Daqo New Energy will provide Zhonghuan with 41,000 metric tons of high-purity mono-grade polysilicon from 2021 to 2023. Prices will be set monthly based on market conditions. Zhonghuan agreed to make an advance payment to Daqo New Energy as part of the deal.

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