President Obama announced this January 8 the award of $2.3 billion in Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy manufacturing projects across the United States. 183 projects in 43 states will create tens of thousands of high quality clean energy jobs and the domestic manufacturing of electric cars, solar, wind, and energy efficiency.
“Building a robust clean energy sector is how we will create the jobs of the future,” said President Obama. “The Recovery Act awards I am announcing today will help close the clean energy gap that has grown between America and other nations while creating good jobs, reducing our carbon emissions and increasing our energy security.” These credits are also an important step towards meeting the President’s goal of doubling the amount of renewable energy the country uses in the next three years with wind turbines and solar panels built right here in the United States.
The President identified that this initiative is also important “To reduce our dangerous dependency on foreign oil….This initiative will close the clean energy gap with other nations.” He cited China and Germany as competing for wind, solar, and energy efficiency jobs.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said, “The awards announced today, together with the more than $5 billion in private sector capital spurred by our investment, will drive significant growth in the renewable energy and clean technology manufacturing sectors, good jobs, an energized private sector marketplace and a leadership role for the U.S. in these crucial high-growth markets.”
The investment tax credits, worth up to thirty percent of each planned project, will leverage private capital for a total investment of nearly $7.7 billion in high-tech manufacturing in the United States.
– $17 million for Think North America will establish a U.S. manufacturing operation/facility in Indiana. Think has delivered thousands of battery-electric vehicles in Europe. Think is 30 percent owned by American lithium battery maker EnerDel.
Smart Grid – $5 million for Itron whose OpenWay CENTRON meter is one of the first smart meters for the residential market providing built-in, two-way communications and a remote on/off switch which will give customers more choice and enable utilities to provide higher reliability at lower cost. The expansion of manufacturing capacity in their facility in South Carolina will allow an annual production of four million meters.
Building Efficiency and Energy Management – W.L. Gore is producing an advanced membrane for high efficiency fuel cells for buildings and vehicles. The company’s products can help enable lower-cost fuel cells for use in electric vehicles or to power homes and businesses. They are also manufacturing an advanced turbine filter to improve the performance of gas turbines to produce greater outputs at lower cost and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
LED Lighting - Cree received $39 million for purchasing new equipment to add capacity and capability to lower production costs of LED chips and fixtures. LED lighting technologies represent a new source of high efficiency lighting.
Fuel Efficiency – PPG Industries will produce a special tire tread component that reduces rolling resistance and improves fuel economy. PPG tax credits will also provide for manufacturing of one of the critical components of glass solar cells, the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) coatings of the glass,.
– $142 million for Hemlock Semiconductor will expand a manufacturing plant that produces polycrystalline-silicon used in the production of solar panels. $43 million for Nanosolar to produce tools for the manufacturing of low-cost, low-GHG emission solar cells, using nanotechnology-enabled roll-to-roll processes. $10 million for Miasole to manufacture Solar PV Cells and modules based on an innovative thin-film production technology. $16 million for First Solar will expand its manufacturing facility to produce fully completed thin-film solar modules.
– TPI Composites. is building a new manufacturing facility in Nebraska to produce next generation wind turbine blades. TPI says the facility will create over 200 new jobs and will have a capacity equivalent to supplying 265 turbines rated at 2.5 MW for a total electrical output of 663 MW. TPI will also be expanding their existing manufacturing facility in Iowa. TPI’s composite materials are also used for lighter, stronger, and more fuel efficient vehicles. $52 million for world-leader Vestas to expand U.S. turbine blade production.
Nuclear – Alstom received $63 million to establish a new turbine manufacturing facility designed to manufacture the world’s largest steam turbines, with unit output up to 1700 MW. The new facility will focus on turbines used in advanced nuclear power plants, retrofitting existing turbines in nuclear power plants with higher efficiency technologies, turbines in new hydro power plants, and retrofitting existing turbines in hydro power plants with higher efficiency technologies.
While projects selected for this tax credit generally must be placed in service by 2014, approximately 30 percent of them will be completed in 2010.
The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit authorized Treasury to provide developers with an investment tax credit of 30 percent for facilities that manufacture particular types of energy equipment. Qualifying manufacturers will produce solar, wind, and geothermal energy equipment; fuel cells, microturbines, and batteries; electric cars; electric grids to support the transmission of renewable energy; energy conservation technologies; and equipment that captures and sequesters carbon dioxide or reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
“The world urgently needs to move toward clean energy technologies, and the United States has the opportunity to lead in this new industrial revolution,” said DOE Secretary Chu.