AES, Clearway Energy Group, Cypress Creek Renewables, and D. E. Shaw (DESRI), have formed the US Solar Buyer Consortium to support expansion of the domestic solar supply chain and drive the growth of the American solar industry. As a first step, the consortium launched a competitive RFP 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 Biden administration 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. With the Build Back Better Act tabled, manufacturers hold out hope for the passage of Senator Jon Ossoff’s (D-GA) 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 1.5o 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 RFP, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was amended on 6/21 to add the email address.
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It’s definitely a good idea to have more solar manufacturing in the US.
Per my quick napkin math, First Solar could build nearly 30 GW of module capacity with a 6 billion dollar investment. Can’t say if they could source that much tellurium but it’s a decent benchmark. Interestingly cSi modules have similar capacity expansion costs.
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