Kenosha factory will produce solar energy equipment with incentives from new Biden law

President Joe Biden speaks during a stop at a solar manufacturing company that's part of his "Bidenomics" rollout on Thursday, July 6, 2023, in West Columbia, S.C.

Siemens, the Germany-based manufacturing company, announced on Tuesday that it will be producing solar equipment in Kenosha, Wisconsin, at a facility operated by California-based electronics manufacturing company Sanmina. By moving production to the United States, the company will benefit from incentives in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act designed to create domestic clean energy jobs.

President Joe Biden signed the act into law in August 2022 after it passed Congress on a party-line vote. The law provides tax incentives for companies to manufacture equipment for clean energy projects in the U.S. Companies that purchase those U.S.-made components are also eligible to receive tax credits.

The announcement comes as a new report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association, the trade group for companies in the solar energy sector, said that companies had announced more than $100 billion in U.S. investments since the law took effect.

“This law is a shining example of how good federal policy can help spur innovation and private investment in communities that need it most,” SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement.

The report forecasts that companies involved in solar energy and the storage of that energy will add 500,000 jobs over the next decade. The report credits the law for 137,000 of those new positions.

Republicans oppose the tax incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act. In legislation passed in April by the Republican-led House to raise the U.S. debt limit, Republicans proposed repealing the tax credits in the law.

The bill, the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023, was not considered by the Senate, where Democrats have the majority. If it had become law, companies like Siemens would not have had an incentive to locate their solar projects in the U.S.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act, which suspended the debt limit, passed in a bipartisan vote and was signed into law by Biden. It did not repeal the clean energy tax incentives.

The Biden administration has described laws like the Inflation Reduction Act, which are designed to spur investment and job growth in the United States, as part of an economic philosophy it has begun calling “Bidenomics.” Direct investment provisions and tax incentives similar to those contained in the Inflation Reduction Act are also in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the CHIPS and Science Act that Biden signed into law.

“The investments we’ve made are transformative,” Biden said in remarks at an Aug. 10 campaign reception, “And they’re going to do something no one thought possible: Actually generate real economic growth.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.