Solar manufacturing tax credit is introduced in the Senate


Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia) introduced a bill, dubbed the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, which looks to establish a tax credit for domestic solar manufacturers.

According to the senator’s office, the act would boost the U.S. solar supply chain to create American clean energy jobs, compete with offshore manufacturers, and support energy independence. The incentive would be available through 2028 with a phase-down taking place the two years following.

Modules would receive a credit of 11 cents, multiplied by the capacity of the module; cells would receive 4 cents, multiplied by the capacity of the cell; wafers would be credited at $12 per square meter; and solar-grade polysilicon would receive a credit of $3 per kilogram.

Ossoff is working with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) to include the proposal into a broader clean energy plan that may be attached to an infrastructure bill later this year. The legislation is co-sponsored by senators Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia), Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan).

The bill is supported by Q-CELLS America, Hemlock Semiconductors, LG Electronics USA, REC Silicon ASA, Wacker Polysilicon North America, Sunnova Energy International Inc., First Solar, Mission Solar, Leading Edge Equipment Technologies, Auxin Solar, Swift Solar, 1366 Technologies, Silfab Solar, Heliene, and the Ultra Low Carbon Solar Alliance.

If passed, the bill would be a boost to President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, which already has significant renewable energy provisions, including a 10-year extension of tax credits for solar and wind, and the establishment of other clean energy tax credits and includes direct pay of said credits.

The legislation has been met with open arms by the solar industry, with Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) releasing a statement of support. “While the broader U.S. solar industry continues to flourish, America’s solar manufacturing sector has languished,” she said. Now is the time to “seize the promise” of American solar manufacturing.

The statement also included a call to increase the country’s annual domestic production capacity tenfold by 2030. SEIA set a solar-specific target of 50 GW of annual domestic production capacity by 2030. This goal would create American solar manufacturing capacity equal to over 150% of the 19.2 GW of solar deployed in 2020 and would covers “all key elements of a solar energy system,” SEIA said, including polysilicon, ingots and wafers, cells and modules, racking and trackers and inverters.

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