Plans for 22GW of US module, cell manufacturing announced since IRA was signed into law

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Most of the announced facilities are expected to come online in 2023-25. Image: First Solar.

Since August 2022 there have been 12 new solar PV manufacturing facilities announced in the US that represent 22GW of module and cell production capacity, according to a report by industry body American Clean Power (ACP).

Signed into law by President Joe Biden on 16 August, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) aims to boost US renewable energy manufacturing and deployment through a host of tax credits. The ACP report says that US$40 billion in domestic clean energy investments have been made since August, an amount equal to investments made in the entirety of 2021.

A number of significant solar manufacturers have revealed plans for module and cell production facilities in the US to capitalise on IRA incentives. First Solar announced the location of its 3.5GW Alabama module factory in November, and the same month Enel North America announced plans for a 3GW cell and module manufacturing facility.

“America is laying the foundation to become a manufacturing powerhouse,” said ACP Interim CEO and chief advocacy officer JC Sandberg. “To ensure the full potential of these investments and facilities, we urge the administration and Congress to continue improving trade policies, enacting common sense permitting reform and finalising effective tax implementation.”

The ACP report gave a full list of the announced facilities, the majority of which are expected to come online in 2023-25. Notable examples include a planned 9GW cell module manufacturing facility from Hanwha Q Cells and three facilities planned by Enphase Energy.

Research from Wood Mackenzie in September predicted that the full force of the IRA’s impact wouldn’t be felt until 2024.

The report also said that close to 2GW of PV power plants had been announced since August, the largest being Acciona Energy’s plans to spend US$1.3 billion on three projects totalling around 1.3GW that are expected online in 2023.

In addition to the solar expansions, ACP said that the clean energy boom of recent months has led to six new grid-scale battery energy storage manufacturing facilities and one new wind asset factory being announced.

Around 7,000 new jobs have reportedly been created, and consumer savings totalling over US$2.5 billion have been announced.

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