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The USA's renewable energy industry is seeing some major changes impacted by the Inflation Reduction Act and new projects launched by major players in solar, wind and battery storage. Energy Expert Eddy Maunder looks at all the biggest events from the last month in the latest episode of the Renewables Roundup. Watch the full episode below or read on for stories including: 

  • Massive increases in solar manufacturing capacity  since the introduction of the IRA
  • RWE's acquisition of Con Edison Clean Energy Business
  • Savion's agreement for 2.6GW of modules from First Solar
  • Sol Sytems unique renewable energy procurement and investment strategy with Google
  • Origis Energy's $750 million credit facility
  • And more...

IRA means more USA solar manufacturing

Our top story this month focuses on the solar industry and more specifically solar modules.  Since the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), more than ten companies have announced roughly between 50 and 80 GW of solar silicon, wafer, cell, and module manufacturing capacity in the United States. The Solar Energy Industries Association’s roadmap optimistically targets 50 GW of solar module manufacturing capacity. As a result, some analysts see the potential for the USA to emerge as a strong export market for solar panels.

One new development is the participation of solar developers in solar module assembly factories. Their involvement is motivated by the need to secure module capacity, as well to meet the ‘Made in America’ criteria for products. Meeting this criteria is important, because projects that meet the requirement are eligible for the Inflation Reduction Act’s 10% Investment Tax Credit adder.

RWE's Acquires Con Edison

RWE one of the world's leading renewable energy companies, successfully closed the acquisition of all shares in Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, from Consolidated Edison, Inc after only five months from the announcement of the transaction. 

All relevant authorities have approved the acquisition. The transaction makes RWE the number four renewable energy company in the U.S. and the country's second largest solar owner and operator, with business activities now spanning across the majority of U.S. states.

The company operates a portfolio of 8 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy projects and has a development platform of more than 24 GW, one of the largest in the U.S. With more than 15 years of experience in the renewable energy business and an outstanding track record in developing, constructing and operating renewable energy facilities, the RWE team in the U.S. has around 1,500 employees and is fully committed to forging ahead with the clean energy transition.

Savion Buys 2.6GW of First Solar Modules

Solar and energy storage project development company Savion has signed an agreement to buy 2.6GW of modules from First Solar.

The Series 7 thin film solar modules will be delivered between 2025 and 2027. The agreement came after Savion’s plan to move to an independent power producer model.

The company added that the deal was booked prior to the release of First Solar’s Q3 2022 earnings in October 2022, and was “strongly contributed” by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Sol Systems' Unique Google Development

Sol Systems have announced a unique renewable energy procurement and investment strategy with Google that enables the development of new solar energy projects and supports local communities where the projects are built.

Sol Systems and Google have structured an integrated clean energy investment and procurement strategy for solar projects being developed by Pine Gate Renewables in North and South Carolina. This strategy provides capital to enable 225 MWdc of new solar energy projects and 18 MW of battery storage resources. These assets are being developed in a region with relatively low renewable energy penetration and of specific focus for Google and its 24/7 carbon-free energy goal.

Origis $750 Million Solar Facility

Renewable energy platform Origis Energy has obtained a $750 million credit facility for its solar and energy storage development project pipeline in the US. 

The company said this financing round followed a $375 million credit facility announced in May 2022, claiming it was the largest credit facility announced this year for a utility-scale solar and storage development project pipeline.

First Citizens Bank’s division CIT was the lead arranger, with other lenders including Santander, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Rabobank and Nomura, to name a few. 

ENEL Partners With Nestlé On Solar-Plus-Storage

Finally, Enel North America has partnered with Nestlé to be the sole tax equity investor for its 208 MWdc Ganado solar-plus-storage project in Jackson County, Texas. Nestlé will also purchase the renewable energy attributes from the entire output of the solar plant, helping advance the company’s efforts to create a more sustainable future and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its operations.   

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