President Obama awards $2.3 billion for new clean-tech manufacturing
President Obama has announced the award of $2.3 billion in Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy manufacturing projects across the United States. The 183 projects in 43 states that were awarded the funds are expected to create more than 17,000 clean energy jobs through the domestic manufacturing of advanced clean energy technologies including solar, wind, and efficiency and energy management technologies.
Behind these credits was a partnership between the Departments of Treasury and Energy. The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit authorized Treasury to provide developers with an investment tax credit of 30% 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.
“There is no greater priority for this Administration than getting Americans back to work,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. “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.”
While projects selected for this tax credit generally must be placed in service by 2014, approximately 30% of them are expected to be completed in 2010. Some of the companies and products awarded funds include:
Itron Inc.’s 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 is said to give customers more choice and enable utilities to provide higher reliability at lower cost. The expansion of manufacturing capacity in the company’s facility in South Carolina will allow an annual production of four million meters.
W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. is producing an advanced membrane for high efficiency fuel cells. The company is 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.
PPG Industries Inc. will produce a double anti-reflective coating for glass to make solar cells more efficient. And at its Louisiana facility, PPG will produce a special tire tread component that reduces rolling resistance and improves fuel economy. This credit will help to expand the manufacture of one of the critical components of glass solar cells, the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) coatings of the glass, without which the cells cannot function.
TPI Composites Inc. is building a new manufacturing facility in Nebraska to produce next-generation wind turbine blades. TPI says the facility will create more than 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 its existing manufacturing facility in Iowa to meet the anticipated increased demand for composite wind turbine blades. TPI’s composite materials made in both facilities are used to make lighter and stronger wind turbine blades and lighter and stronger (and more fuel efficient) vehicles.