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The AES Corporation, along with three leading US solar companies, Clearway Energy Group(Clearway), Cypress Creek and D.E Shaw Renewables Investments (DESRI), announced the creation of the US Solar Buyer Consortium. This consortium will drive the expansion of the national solar supply chain and help to grow the American solar industry.
The US Solar Buyer Consortium has committed to purchasing solar panels worth more than $6 billion and is seeking manufacturers who are compatible with its goals to supply 7 GW per year, starting in 2024. This announcement is part of a growing focus by the US Government on strengthening America’s energy independence and security by reducing its dependence on other nations.
AES has a large backlog in the US for solar projects, with 3.4 GW of projects due to go online between 2022 and 2025. This is out of a total backlog that exceeds 10.3 GW across all geographies, technologies, and geographies. AES signed 5 GW power purchase agreements (PPAs), for renewable energy in 2021. This includes 1.4 GW for solar projects in the US. AES signed more deals with corporate customers in 2021 than any other company in the world. This was due in part to products like 24/7 carbon-free electricity, which provides renewable energy 24 hours a day to customers such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. A total of 59 GW is under development by the company, 68% of which are in the United States.
Andres Gluski (CEO and President of AES) stated that AES has a large and growing portfolio of solar projects and is committed to America’s shift to clean energy. “Today, top American solar developers came together to do their part in attracting investments into US solar manufacturing. However, it is vital that the US Government develops a realistic, long-term policy framework to support onshoring more of the solar panel supply chain, without unnecessarily disrupting our sector’s growth and success.
The solar industry can provide 40% of the nation’s energy, and could employ up to 1.5 million people by 2035 if it has the right policies.