President Obama awards $2.3 billion for new clean-tech manufacturing
Recovery Act tax credits allot more than $7 billion in new manufacturing projects and are expected to create thousands of jobs.
President Obama has announced the award of $2.3 billion in Recovery ActAdvanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits for clean energy manufacturingprojects across the UnitedStates.
Behind these credits was a partnership between the Departments of Treasury
and Energy. The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit authorized Treasury to
provide developers with an investment tax credit of 30% for facilities that
manufacture particular types of energy equipment. Qualifying manufacturers will
produce solar, wind, and geothermal energy equipment; fuel cells,
microturbines, and batteries; electric cars; electric grids to support the
transmission of renewable energy; energy conservation technologies; and
equipment that captures and sequesters carbon dioxide or reduces greenhouse gas
According to the White House, these tax credits, as part of the Recovery
Act, are focused on putting Americans back to work by building a "robust
domestic manufacturing capacity to supply clean and renewable energy projects
with American made parts and equipment." These credits are also said to be
an important step toward meeting the President's goal of doubling the amount of
renewable energy the country uses in the next three years with wind turbines
and solar panels built in the United
"There is no greater priority for this Administration than getting
Americans back to work," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. "The
awards announced today, together with the more than $5 billion in private
sector capital spurred by our investment, will drive significant growth in the
renewable energy and clean technology manufacturing sectors, good jobs, an
energized private sector marketplace and a leadership role for the U.S. in these
crucial high-growth markets."
This effort, along with other Recovery Act investments, will drive
significant growth in the renewable energy and clean technology manufacturing
sectors and give the United
States the ability to lead globally in these
markets, said the White House. The investment tax credits, worth up to 30%
of each planned project, will leverage private capital for a total investment
of nearly $7.7 billion in high-tech manufacturing in the United States.
While projects selected for this tax credit generally must be placed in
service by 2014, approximately 30% of them are expected to be completed in
2010. Some of the companies and products awarded funds include:
- Itron Inc.'s OpenWay Centron meter is one of the first smart meters for the residential market providing built-in, two-way communications and a remote on/off switch which is said to give customers more choice and enable utilities to provide higher reliability at lower cost. The expansion of manufacturing capacity in the company's facility in South Carolina will allow an annual production of four million meters. Itron estimates that one year's production of the meters will be able to reduce electricity use by approximately 1.7 million MWh per year.
- W.L. Gore & Associates Inc. is producing an advanced membrane for high efficiency fuel cells for buildings and vehicles. The company's products can help enable lower-cost fuel cells for use in electric vehicles or to power homes and businesses. The company is also manufacturing an advanced turbine filter to improve the performance of gas turbines to produce greater outputs at lower cost and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- PPG Industries Inc. will produce a double anti-reflective coating for glass to make solar cells more efficient. And at its Louisiana facility, PPG will produce a special tire tread component that reduces rolling resistance and improves fuel economy. Before the solar industry had begun, PPG pioneered the first low-iron glass that has been used in solar cells and on countless solar installations over the past two decades. Today, this credit will help to expand the manufacture of one of the critical components of glass solar cells, the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) coatings of the glass, without which the cells cannot function.
- TPI Composites Inc. is building a new manufacturing facility in Nebraska to produce next generation wind turbine blades. TPI says the facility will create more than 200 new jobs and will have a capacity equivalent to supplying 265 turbines rated at 2.5 MW for a total electrical output of 663 MW. TPI will also be expanding its existing manufacturing facility in Iowa to meet the anticipated increased demand for composite wind turbine blades. TPI's composite materials made in both facilities are used to make lighter and stronger wind turbine blades and lighter and stronger (and more fuel efficient) vehicles.
For a full list of selected projects, click here.
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Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.