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Published on April 19, 2024
Biden-Harris Admin Shell Out $1.93 Billion for Clean Energy Manufacturing MilesoneSource: Unsplash / Zbynek Burival

The Biden-Harris Administration is pouring a cool $1.93 billion into American clean energy and manufacturing efforts, signaling a massive push to reduce emissions and prep for a greener future. Announced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 35 projects across 20 states have stepped forward to claim a slice of the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit (48C), backed by President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act. Touted to boost clean manufacturing and take a bite out of industrial greenhouse gases, this federal tax credit is part of a broader attempt to retool and redouble America's industrial might through sustainable practices.

Scattered across the clean energy chessboard, these sponsored initiatives are branching into making electric vehicle (EV) bits and bobs, solar panel components, and even clean steel. Tree-hugging transformers and other grid-strengthening goodies are also on the agenda. Seven of these projects are sprouting up in areas still dusting off from the coal era, smack dab in communities where coal mining and power plants used to be local legends. All projects aiming for the full 30% investment tax credit must play ball with prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements. In a move that grabbed headlines, "The Biden-Harris Administration is executing an industrial strategy that prioritizes rebuilding our domestic manufacturing sector, creating good-paying jobs across the country," according to the triumphant words of U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, as reported on the DOE's website.

Hard numbers tell a clearer story: Eaton Corporation of Waukesha, WI, is ramping up their engineering prowess to pump out transformers that'll help keep our power grids and EV charging stations from breaking a sweat, snagging a mere $1.33 million in credits. Meanwhile, Louisville, TN's Silicon Ranch is laying the groundwork for future solar cells by pulling in a hefty $125 million in tax credit loot, adding a sunny outlook to the typical industrial skyline.

It doesn't stop at power and solar dreams. The roster includes a GA-based EV component factory set to back Hyundai and Kia's electric ambitions, and a quest in Calvert, AL, by ArcelorMittal to spin out electrical steel that's greener than your average St. Patrick's Day parade. The EV charge is led by Mobis North America electrified Powertrain, LLC (MNAe) planting its footing in Richmond Hill with a mint tax credit of $57.6 million. In a statement announcing these efforts, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen charged ahead, "Investments in advanced energy projects strengthen our energy security and create good-paying jobs in vital fields like clean energy manufacturing and critical materials processing," a sentiment that rings through the federal announcement.

Beyond the sound bites and ribbon cuttings, the community at large is poised to feel the trickle-down. Education initiatives and training programs are being whipped up in tandem with local colleges, as well as some nifty community benefit agreements. Reflecting on the intersection of past and progress, Senior Advisor to the President for International Climate Policy John Podesta elucidated, "President Biden is committed to building a clean energy economy that is bringing investments and jobs to the same communities that have powered our nation for over a century with fossil fuels," in a narrative echoed by the DOE's announcement.

Lacing up for another go, the U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service are teeing up for a second round of 48C program guidance. Companies with an itch for the next tax credit gold rush are primed to start submitting their pitches by this summer, barreling toward a greener, cleaner industrial horizon.