The Department of Energy has allotted $275 million to support seven projects related to clean energy supply chains and manufacturing in the United States, all of which are taking place in former coal communities.
The projects plan to focus on small- and medium-sized manufacturers working to produce key components for energy storage, wind energy, and building energy efficiency. The government funding is expected to leverage more than $600 million of private sector investment directed toward the projects, and nearly 1,500 jobs will be created in their development. The Biden administration also aims to direct the economic benefits of the clean energy transition by offering this funding to projects located near disadvantaged communities.
The projects are expected to strengthen domestic clean energy supply chains for energy security and independence while contributing to climate change mitigation. Strengthening domestic supply chains can enable a quicker, more affordable energy transition in the United States and has been a key focus of the DOE’s clean energy strategy.
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is driving the manufacturing boom while preserving the communities and workforce that have powered our nation for generations,” said Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy. “With these historic investments, DOE will bring new economic opportunities and ensure these communities continue their key role in strengthening America’s national and energy security.”
As Projects Spread They May Help Address Materials Shortages
As the global market for clean energy materials is expected to increase exponentially in the coming decades, establishing strong domestic U.S. supply chains may help meet some of this demand and avoid potential shortages.
A wide range of clean energy materials will be manufactured with these new projects, supporting a variety of industries.
For example, Carter Wind Turbines is to build a new facility in Vernon, Texas, for the production of mid-sized wind turbines, working to improve energy access for remote, rural locations or rugged terrains. Other projects will retrofit previous facilities for renewed use, such as Alpen High-Performance Products, which is retrofitting facilities in Louisville, Colorado, and Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, to produce insulated window glass units used to increase building energy efficiency.
Using retired facilities and old coal plants has become a more common practice amidst the nation’s attempts to transition away from fossil fuels and strengthen clean energy development. Earlier this month, the Department of Transportation offered $47.4 million to create an offshore wind manufacturing hub in Maryland on a site that previously held the world’s largest steel mill.