A solar cell manufacturing facility in Georgia that closed its doors several years back has apparently been down this whole time, but not out.
Solar manufacturing company Suniva has announced plans to reopen a facility in Norcross, Georgia it idled in 2017 prior to a bankruptcy filing. The company also closed a Michigan plant during the same period.
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At the time, Suniva also petitioned the Trump Administration to apply tariffs on foreign-made panels to reduce the flow of cheap competition – a bid that was ultimately successful, though not enough to get production back up and running.
What did finally move the needle, according to the company, is the Inflation Reduction Act.
Suniva says the subsidies available for clean energy component producers will provide the boost the facility needs to operate. Buying domestically produced solar cells means customers can apply for a tax credit, a compelling advantage that’s paired with a major tax credit for the producers themselves.
According to Reuters, there is no existing supply of U.S.-made solar cells, and the made-in-America incentives are described by Suniva as key to creating a domestic supply of products that are currently made almost entirely in China.
Suniva’s president Matt Card told Reuters that the company has funding for its expansion - which should create 240 jobs - and is in advanced negotiations with a handful of big customers. Card emphasized the speed and scope of the upcoming project, with the plant slated to open in spring of 2024, supported by his own bullish sentiment that "Solar cells can succeed in this market.”