- US Senate has passed the UFLPA, sending it to President Joe Biden to sign into a law
- GameChange Solar gets $150 million investment from Koch Investments Group
- Lightsource bp achieves financial closure for 130 MW solar power plant in Alabama, US
- US Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says he won’t support BBB, making its immediate future uncertain
US Senate nod to forced labor act: The US Senate has given its approval to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) and sent it to President Joe Biden for clearance, making it one step away from becoming a law. It had already been cleared by the US House of Representatives (see US Forced Labor Prevention Act). Commenting on the topic, Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper stated, “Companies have told us that they have moved supply chains out of Xinjiang, and many are having independent third-party audits. These audits are conducted to verify that their supply chain partners do not use forced labor and that materials in solar products do not come from Xinjiang.”
Koch invests in GameChange Solar: Koch Strategic Platforms (KSP), a subsidiary of Koch Investments Group has invested $150 million in US solar racking and tracker systems provider for utility scale solar GameChange Solar. The $150 million is the preferred stock investment, which if converted, will enable KSP a minority stake in GameChange Solar. The tracker maker will use proceeds to expand its market share in the US and globally while expanding international deployment and manufacturing presence. It will enable the company to accelerate product research and development, including a new 2P tracker technology, a new fixed tilt system and advanced tracker software. Earlier this month, another Koch group company Koch Engineered Solutions acquired utility scale solar EPC company DEPCOM Power (see North American PV News Snippets).
Lightsource bp raises $100 million for Alabama project: Lightsource bp has secured $100 million financing for 130 MW DC Black Bear Solar Project in Alabama, US. The Montgomery County facility is to increase Alabama’s total installed solar power capacity by over 20%. The project is contracted to supply power to Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA) which it said facilitated project financing from Minneapolis based US Bank, debt from Banco Santander and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).
BBB’s future uncertain: The flagship policy of Build Back Better (BBB) of US President Joe Biden has hit a roadblock after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin refused to support the legislation. The $1.75 trillion social spending and climate policy bill or BBB includes several incentives and an extension for the US solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The White House expressed surprise at Manchin current position which the latter blamed on inflation among other domestic factors. Meanwhile, analysts at Roth Capital Partners believe there may be modest potential for a renewables related provision from the BBB to be included in a separate piece of legislation or a tax extenders package in 2022, adding that it remains too early to say for sure.