EGEB: Senators call for US solar manufacturing boost with tax credits

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • A Democratic senator says the US dependency on China for solar must be cut.
  • An old warehouse in Brooklyn gets a second life as an indoor soccer venue and a community solar host.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

US solar manufacturing

Democratic senators are lobbying for legislation to boost domestic solar production and reduce US dependency on China for solar panels.

Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) introduced the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act on June 21, along with senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). It’s part of the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion infrastructure package push, which is currently under way.

The legislation would provide tax credits for US manufacturers at every stage of the solar manufacturing supply chain, from production of polysilicon to solar cells to fully assembled solar modules.

Ossoff said on Bloomberg Television:

We have to act on climate now. We have to act against slave labor now.

We’re hugely reliant upon Chinese supply chains tainted by Uyghur forced labor to produce this solar-energy production capacity.

Bloomberg Green notes:

Almost half of the world’s supply of solar-grade polysilicon comes from Xinjiang, the western China region facing increasing scrutiny for alleged human-rights abuses against Muslim Uyghurs.

Soccer and solar

SoFive in Brooklyn… with solar. Photo: DSD

An old warehouse in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn just got a really cool second life. A 763 kW community solar project now sits on its roof, and its interior has been transformed into a community sports venue by SoFive, which operates indoor five-a-side soccer facilities in the US Northeast.

It’s a win-win: The facility will provide the community with both access to clean energy at reduced rates and a new recreational center.

SoFive will use around 30% of the energy produced onsite, while the remaining energy will be distributed to single-family homes and renters in the area. PowerMarket will manage the subscriptions.

The project was initiated by developer YSG Solar and acquired by Distributed Solar Development (DSD).

Jon Morton, VP of acquisitions at DSD, said of the project:

DSD is extremely proud to be part of this unique project that provides all around benefits to the community.

YSG Solar did an amazing job at leveraging incentives to bring renewable energy to an underserved community, while also improving the neighborhood at the same time.

The project was selected as the first solar project for New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Accelerated Sales Tax Exemption Program, which provides a sales tax exemption of up to $100,000 for industrial construction or renovations in underserved communities.

(And if we haven’t yet made it super clear, we at Electrek love solar on big warehouses – all that previously unused space put to good use!)

Read more: New York City announces a massive clean energy plan

Photo: First Solar

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.