U.S. Buyers Consortium Aims to Jumpstart Domestic Solar Panel Production

Solar panel.
Published On
Jun 30, 2022

Supply chain problems continue to gum up the economy, but a group of power companies have teamed up to help one industry break free from this cycle and develop its own momentum.

On June 21, several U.S. power companies announced they had formed the U.S. Solar Buyer Consortium. Comprised of several large stakeholders in the solar power industry, partners include AES Corp., Clearway Energy Group, Cypress Creek Renewables LLC and D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments.

Their announcement included a commitment to invest more than $6 billion to increase the demand for and production of domestic solar panels. To fulfill that objective, the consortium also issued a request for proposals from U.S. manufacturers to supply up to 7 gigawatts (GW) of solar modules per year starting in 2024.

Like many industries, solar panel production has been adversely impacted by the supply chain problems that are slowing down the global economy. Consortium leader AES reports that it has a large backlog of solar projects in the United States, including 3.4 GW of new projects coming online in 2022–2025. The company signed contracts for 1.4 GW of U.S. solar projects in 2021.

In a related development earlier this month, President Biden announced a 24-month waiver of antidumping tariffs imposed on solar cells and modules imported from several Southeast Asian countries while the Department of Commerce (DOC) conducts an inquiry. The products from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam may now enter the United States free from antidumping and countervailing duties for the 24-month period.

Partners argue the efforts of the consortium will help the country develop a reliable and consistent supply of panels manufactured domestically to help the industry withstand the kinds of uncertainties created by events such as the tariffs and DOC inquiry.

Andres Gluski, AES president and CEO, emphasized the importance of “onshoring” more of the solar panel supply chain. He explained that it is crucial for the federal government to create a “realistic, long-term policy framework” that supports the industry.

The consortium believes their efforts could help develop an American-made solar industry with the potential to create over 250,000 new permanent jobs and over 50,000 new construction jobs by 2035.

About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer

Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at richardlaezman@msn.com.

Stay Informed Join our Newsletter

Having trouble finding time to sit down with the latest issue of
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR? Don't worry, we'll come to you.