Federal Loan Guarantees Help Build a New Solar Plant
Industry Week reports that First Solar Inc. is building a solar module plant in Mesa, AZ. The company plans to invest $300 million in the new venture and employ approximately 600 people. The factory will converts sheets of glass into complete solar panel modules.
First Solar President Bruce Sohn attributes state and federal loan guarantees to part of the company's ability to build the facility:
"Programs such as Department of Energy loan guarantees and the solar investment tax credit are crucial to helping the renewable energy industry quickly reach the scale needed to compete with fossil fuels. Over the long-term, programs like these facilitate the market growth and investment that will support the future expansion of this factory."
The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has long supported clean energy manufacturing tax credits and industrial energy efficiency grants to move America forward on green job creation. Likewise, AAM supports federal loan guarantees for new energy infrastructure projects, including nuclear, wind, solar, other renewable energy sources, as well as the smart grid, with expanding domestic supply chains.
What's needed is for Congress to help expand access to capital so that companies are able to make efficiency improvements to their existing operations and build new plants to meet the demand for renewable energy projects. And it should provide additional funding for the 48c advanced energy manufacturing tax incentive, which supports increased manufacturing capacity of clean energy technologies in the United States.
Specifically, Congress should fulfill President Obama’s request for an additional $5 billion for the 48c advanced energy manufacturing tax incentive, which supports increased manufacturing capacity of clean energy technologies in the United States. The $2.3 billion provided under the Recovery Act supported 183 projects in 43 states, but was oversubscribed by a 3:1 ratio. The Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act of 2011” (S. 591) introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown (OH) and Maria Cantwell (WA), would support the investments needed to jumpstart stalled projects and ensure that clean energy manufacturing expands in the U.S.
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