WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited Circleville on Wednesday to renew his call for the extension of the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, which provided $50 million in federal tax credits to the DuPont Circleville plant – helping to create 70 permanent jobs and 230 construction jobs. The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit (48C) program provides a 30 percent credit for domestic companies that invest in new, expanded, or reequipped clean energy manufacturing projects.
“Ohioans, like the workers here at DuPont, know how to build things. And we need to maintain our innovation edge by manufacturing the technology of the 21st century. The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, or 48(c) program, has been overwhelmingly successful and there is a backlog of strong applications – that means the demand is there,” Brown said. “That’s why Governor Strickland and I have urged the President to expand 48(c). And it’s also why I introduced the Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act which would improve 48(c) so companies can receive grants, rather than tax credits. Creating grants means investing in more companies – especially small- and medium-size manufacturers and entrepreneurs that don’t have tax liabilities.”
Brown was joined at DuPont by Circleville Plant Manager David Pigion. He toured the plant, which recently received a $175 million investment to expand production of its high-performance Tedlar photovoltaic film used in solar panels. This expansion will create 70 jobs and retain 444 jobs in clean energy manufacturing. Tedlar is a critical component on the back of solar panels, providing long-term durability and performance. The new production line, scheduled to start in the fall of 2011, is expected to help meet the increasing need for energy and environmental sustainability. The expansion will also provide 230 temporary construction jobs over the course of the project.
In January 2010, DuPont received more than $50 million in tax credits through the Recovery Act's Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program. The 48(c) program was a highly popular component of the Recovery Act that has since run out of funds. As Chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Brown is the lead cosponsor of legislation to extend the credit, which has provided seven Ohio companies with more than $125 million in tax credits. During his remarks at DuPont, Brown renewed his call for the Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act, which would extend the 48(c) program and promote more domestic manufacturing of clean energy technology.
The SEAM Act would extend the program and allow for grants in lieu of tax credits. This would enable the program to reach additional companies that would otherwise be unable to utilize the program - new companies that do not yet have tax liabilities or companies that struggle to find credit in today's tight financial market. Without a grant, this program is unusable for many would-be manufacturers. Both the tax credit and grant would remain at 30 percent of the cost of the project. The SEAM Act also adjusts the selection criteria to give higher priority to facilities that manufacture - rather than assemble - goods and components in the U.S.
The 48(c) program is aimed at building capacity to meet the new and growing demand for clean energy technology. Qualifying facilities manufacture a wide range of clean energy products, including wind turbines, solar panels, hybrid vehicle systems, carbon capture and sequestration systems, and biofuel refinery components, among others.
The Department of Energy (DOE) states that the program was more than three times oversubscribed. Nationwide, DOE deemed 418 projects eligible, which amounts to $5.8 billion in unfunded eligible applications. These manufacturers, like the Elyria Foundry, are waiting in the pipeline, and would be ready to break ground soon after they receive funding.
The SEAM Act also helps restore American's manufacturing base. By giving priority to U.S. production, the bill would ensure that our U.S. manufacturing base produces all parts in the clean energy supply chain. As clean energy becomes one of the world's largest industries, forecasted at over $2 trillion annually, clean energy manufacturing provides a significant opportunity for the U.S. to restore its manufacturing base and create good-paying jobs domestically.