This Week in Climate & Clean Energy Wins: Week of 8/7/23
The amount of federal funding for 29 clean energy technology projects in 15 states.
The amount Nevada will invest in the Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California to improve their energy infrastructure and invest in clean energy.
The amount of funding that the Department of the Interior has designated to fund water security programs
This week, Unimacts announced plans to expand their solar parts manufacturing operations in Nevada, projecting that the new plant’s capacity will triple, eventually supporting six gigawatts of solar power and employing more than 200 people. Nextracker announced a new partnership with Asteelflash to produce solar panel parts in a new Fremont, California facility. The new partnership will create new, local jobs in the clean energy sector. Twelve students graduated from Volkswagen’s Robotronics program and will become apprentices as part of the car manufacturer’s new EV apprenticeship program. They will join more than 210 Volkswagen apprentices who have joined the program since it began in 2013. GM unveiled a vehicle-to-home EV charging platform, which let’s drivers charge their vehicles whenever and wherever they want while also acting as emergency home generators.
N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center published a report, finding that in Q2, all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico took 539 grid modernization actions – expanding clean energy capabilities across the country. The Center for American Progress (CAP) released five recommendations that would strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) draft rule and reduce harmful carbon pollution from the power sector. CAP also released new numbers regarding the clean energy job market – a year after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, over 170,000 jobs have been created.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced $195 million in funding opportunities to develop a more resilient water supply and support aquatic ecosystems. The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit program that will provide a 20 percentage point boost in tax credits for clean energy investments to low-income families. The Department of Energy (DOE) announced $37 million in funding for 52 projects to build research capacity, infrastructure, and expertise at historically underrepresented institutions in the department. DOE also announced an investment of $46 million for 29 projects in 15 states to develop advanced clean energy building technologies and retrofit practices.
Lastly, in Pennsylvania, there is a bill advancing through the state legislature that will allow for schools to apply for federal funding to cover up to half the cost of solar panel installation. In New Jersey, proposals for four new wind farm projects were submitted this week, which could double the wind energy projects in the state if passed. In Nevada, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) announced that the Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California will receive $1.3 million to improve their energy infrastructure and invest in clean energy.
- Unimacts announced plans to triple their solar parts manufacturing operations in Nevada thanks to torque tube credits in the Inflation Reduction Act. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/7/2023]
- The expansion plans are projected to have the capacity to support six gigawatts worth of solar panels and employ over 200 people.
- Nextracker announced the opening of a dedicated manufacturing line in a multi-million-dollar joint investment with Asteelflash, expanding its manufacturing capabilities at its 197,000 square foot facility in Fremont, California. [PV Magazine, 8/8/2023]
- Nextracker, a leading U.S. manufacturer of solar mounts and trackers, has opened over 10 new U.S. production facilities in the past year with its suppliers.
- Volkswagen Chattanooga is amping up its EV training as the plant graduates the latest apprentice class [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 8/4/2023]
- 12 new graduates now put the number of Volkswagen apprentices in Chattanooga at more than 210 since 2013.
- GM unveiled a new vehicle-to-home bidirectional EV charging platform, enabling drivers to charge up their vehicles wherever and whenever it’s most convenient. [Clean Technica, 8/8/2023]
- Drivers can then use those kilowatts to power their home appliances as needed – having a vehicle that can double as an emergency home generator.
- Solar panel maker Maxeon to open $1 billion US factory in New Mexico [Reuters, 8/10/2023]
- Maxeon Solar announced it will spend over $1 billion to build a solar cell and panel manufacturing facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico, because of IRA subsidies.
- The 3 gigawatt facility will open in 2025 and create 1,800 jobs.
- First Solar chooses Louisiana to build fifth US panel factory [Reuters, 8/10/2023]
- First Solar will invest $1.1 billion to establish its fifth U.S. solar factory in Iberia Parish, Louisiana.
- In Q2, all 50 states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico took a total of 539 policy and deployment actions related to grid modernization [Smart Energy International, 8/10/2023]
- The five top grid modernization actions are South Carolina’s energy market reform study, Maryland lawmakers adopting an energy storage target, Connecticut regulators approving a performance-based regulation framework, Maine legislators initiating a distribution system operator design study, and the Louisiana Public Service Commission Staff proposing rules for utility grid resilience plans.
- In the past year, $270 billion in capital investment has been invested in clean energy initiatives. [American Clean Power Association, 8/7/2023]
- Incentives and tax credits in the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act spurred the clean energy transition in the U.S.
- The CAP released five recommendations for ways the EPA can reduce harmful carbon pollution from the power sector. [Center for American Progress, 8/8/2023]
- CAP’s proposals are centered on the draft rule the EPA passed at the beginning of the summer.
- A year after its passage, the Inflation Reduction Act has created 170,606 jobs, and 272 new clean energy projects have been announced. [Center for American Progress, 8/9/2023]
- The law is now projected to create 9 million jobs over the next decade.
- DOI announced up to $195 million in funding opportunities to develop a more resilient water supply, support cooperative watershed management and safeguard aquatic ecosystems. [DOI, 8/7/2023]
- The funding comes primarily from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s WaterSMART program, Inflation Reduction Act, and annual appropriations.
- The Treasury and IRS released rules and guidance on the Investing in America Program that will spur clean energy investments in underserved communities. [Treasury, 8/10/2023]
- The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit program provides up to a 20% boost in tax credits for qualified solar or wind facilities in low-income communities.
- DOE announced $37 million in funding for 52 projects across 44 institutions to build research capacity, infrastructure, and expertise at institutions historically underrepresented in the department. [DOE, 8/7/2023]
- Of the 44 awardee institutions, 43 are ERIs and 25 are identified by the U.S. Department of Education as MSIs, including eight Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), six Historically Black Colleges and Universities, two Asian American and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs), one Tribal College and University, and eight that are both HSIs and AANAPISIs.
- DOE announced $46 million for 29 projects across 15 states to develop advanced clean energy building technologies and retrofit practices. [DOE, 8/7/2023]
- The initiatives aim to enable healthier households and communities and reduce energy waste.
- In Pennsylvania, there is a bill advancing through the state legislature that would ease the process for schools to install solar panels by setting up a grant program for schools to apply for federal climate money to cover up to half the cost of installation. [State Impact Pennsylvania, 8/4/2023]
- Proposals for four new wind farm projects were submitted in New Jersey on Friday. [NJ Spotlight News, 8/7/2023]
- If all four proposals are approved, it would more than double the wind energy projects planned for New Jersey. Just two of those projects could power 1.5 million homes.
- U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) announced that the Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California will receive $1.3 million to improve their energy infrastructure and invest in clean energy. [Tahoe Daily Tribune, 8/8/2023]