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2.3 Billion in Clean Tech Manufacturing Funds

Tens of thousands of green jobs will be created through $2.3 billion in new Recovery Act funding for Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits. The funding, announced recently by President Obama, will be divvied up among 183 projects in 43 states. All projects will enhance domestic manufacturing of clean energy technologies in solar and wind power, energy efficiency and Smart Grid technologies.

The tax credits finance up to 30% of investments in clean energy manufacturing, focusing on American-made products in an effort to put people back to work and meet President Obama’s ambitious goal of doubling U.S. renewable energy output within three years. A further hope is that these investments from the federal government, combined with over $5 billion in private investments, will help spur American leadership in the global clean energy market.

The 183 projects fall into four clean tech sectors. A few examples of projects in each category follow:

  • Smart Grid. Credits will aid in the expansion of an Itron, Inc. manufacturing facility, where the company’s OpenWay CENTRON smart meters are made. CENTRON meters are the first smart meters for the residential market that provide built-in, two-way communications and a remote on/off switch. The meters give more choice to customers and help utilities provide higher reliability and lower costs. Itron claims that one year’s production of their smart meters could reduce electricity use by 1.7 million MWh per year.
  • Building Efficiency and Energy Management. W.L. Gore & Associates produces an advanced membrane for high-efficiency fuel cells to power buildings and vehicles, in addition to an advanced turbine filter that improves the efficiency of gas turbines.
  • Solar Energy. PPG Industries will use the credits toward the manufacture of a double anti-reflective coating for glass to make solar cells more efficient. The coatings are made with a transparent conductive oxide (TCO) originally pioneered by PPG and necessary to solar cell function.
  • Wind Energy. TPI Composites will build a new manufacturing facility in Nebraska to produce next-generation wind turbines, creating 200 new jobs. They will also expand an existing facility in Iowa in order to meet the expected increase in demand for wind power products. TPI’s specialty lies in its composite materials that enable the creation of lighter, stronger turbine blades and vehicles.

Collectively, the companies receiving the Recovery Act awards predict the creation of more than 17,000 high-quality green collar jobs. Selected projects must be in place by 2014, although the feds estimate that 30% of them will be online by the end of 2010.

Via Power Online

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