US government agency seeks information from PV industry on domestic module production

A production plant from US thin-film manufacturer First Solar. Image: First Solar.

An independent agency of the US government has issued a request for information (RFI) to learn more about the availability of domestically manufactured solar PV panels and components.

The General Services Administration (GSA), which serves as the government’s purchasing authority, seeks to better understand how it can encourage domestic manufacturing of PV panels through federal procurement as part of a policy to support both decarbonising the US grid and securing a domestic clean energy supply chain.

The GSA is encouraging PV players to provide input on the state of the marketplace.

Information received through the RFI will help the GSA develop a procurement strategy, which could include a standard for use in future solicitations where the use of PV panels and components are required.

“Today’s action seeking input from industry is a prime example of how we’re harnessing federal buying power to catalyse clean energy innovation and spur domestic manufacturing,” said Robin Carnahan, administrator at the GSA.

Responses to the RFI can be submitted here and are due by 18 November 2022.

As part of measures unveiled earlier this year, President Joe Biden directed the development of master supply agreements for domestically manufactured solar systems to increase the speed with which domestic clean electricity providers can sell their products to the US government.

He also called for ‘Super Preferences’ to apply domestic content standards for federal procurement of solar systems, including domestically manufactured PV components.

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