US Inflation Reduction Act triggers plans for 46 factories, says industry group

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From pv magazine USA

Over the last eight months, since the passage of the IRA, more than USD 150 billion ($223b)of domestic utility-scale clean power investments have been announced, according to the American Clean Power Association.

This unprecedented level of investment exceeds the total investment in utility-scale clean power projects brought online in the last five years combined, from 2017 to 2021. More than 96 GW of utility-scale projects have been announced over the eight-month stretch, said the American Clean Power Association.

Solar is set to play a central role in decarbonising and onshoring US energy. By 2030, it is estimated that the IRA will drive the installation of 950 million solar panels, 120,000 wind turbines, and 2,300 grid-scale battery facilities. While the investments are a clear sign of the promising progress towards a decarbonised economy, the American Clean Power Association warns that more action needs to be taken to ensure that future.

“To realise this clean energy future and ensure the full potential of these projects, [the American Clean Power Association] urges the Administration and Congress to continue improving trade policies, supporting next-generation technologies, finalising effective tax implementation and working to enact commonsense permitting reform,” it said in a new report.

The American Clean Power Association said that in the eight-month period, 46 utility-scale clean energy manufacturing facilities were announced, bringing an expected 18,000 or more US jobs.

It said 26 of the 46 announced facilities are solar manufacturing sites, 10 are utility-scale battery storage factories, and 10 are wind power factories – two of which are for offshore wind technology development. The report contains a full roundup of each of the manufacturing sites, the expected jobs created, the expected online date, investment data, and other relevant information.

New clean power manufacturing sites.
Image: ACP

The largest single-site announcement has been a Hanwha Qcells facility, which will involve an investment of USD 2.5 billion ($3.7b) to expand the company’s manufacturing capacity in the United States. It is expected to create as many as 2,500 jobs in Georgia. The factory will cover several aspects of the solar supply chain, including polysilicon ingots, wafers, cells, and modules.

One battery facility of note is American Battery Factory’s site to manufacture lithium-iron-phosphate battery cells for residential and commercial energy storage. The site, which is expected to go online in the fourth quarter of 2024, would bring USD 3.1 billion ($4.6) of economic activity in its local county in Arizona.

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