Silfab and Schneider Electric sign IRA 45X manufacturing transferability deal

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Silfab’s plant (pictured) in Burlington, Washington. The company plans to produce TOPCon cells in the US by the end of 2024. Image: Silfab Solar

US solar cell and module manufacturer Silfab Solar has completed a tax credit transfer deal with energy software company Schneider Electric.

The deal will support Silfab’s US manufacturing plans, which include a 1GW tunnel oxide passivated contact (TOPCon) solar cell production facility in South Carolina.

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Schneider Electric collaborated with sustainable finance technology firm Crux to procure the Section 45X manufacturing tax credits from Silfab for an undisclosed sum. The Section 45X Advanced Manufacturing Production credits were clarified last year by the US Department of Treasury under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). They provide tax breaks for eligible US-made products, including solar modules, cells, wafers and polysilicon.

Crux’s CEO spoke with PV Tech Premium earlier this year about the growing market appetite for 45X credits.

The deal was then made possible by the IRA’s credit transferability scheme, where companies can buy and sell their renewable energy tax credits for cash. This can facilitate clean energy companies’ future plans whilst also making it easier for companies without specialist tax credit or tax equity experience to invest in clean energy.

A Crux report found that between US$8-9 billion of transferable tax transactions took place in 2023.

Paolo Maccario, CEO and president of Silfab Solar said: “We were able to monetise our 45X tax credits, providing us access to additional capital that is beneficial in expanding our US solar manufacturing capacity.”

In March, Silfab signed a supply agreement with US solar recycling firm Solarcycle to use recycled solar glass at the former’s planned South Carolina module production facility. The deal will reduce Silfab’s manufacturing emissions by 30% and its shipping emissions by half, the company said, when Solarcycle’s facility begins operations in 2026.

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