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Sun Shines On U.S. Solar Industry With Millions In Investment Coming Down The Pike

Suniva is restarting a solar cell factory in Georgia as the industry gets a major lift from public and private investment, including a new $30M commitment from Nuveen.

The U.S. solar manufacturer announced it would reopen its idled factory in Norcross, Georgia, next year thanks to incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act that subsidize domestic manufacturing of clean energy equipment.


Suniva is the latest manufacturer to commit to new U.S. solar production since President Joe Biden’s substantial climate law passed last year, Reuters reports. Suniva will start producing solar cells, integral components of solar panels, in the spring of next year, the company told Reuters.

"Solar cells can succeed in this market,” Suniva President Matt Card told Reuters last week. “We're proving that, and we're coming back in a major way very, very quickly.”

The factory reopening represents a comeback for a company with a history of struggles. 

Six years ago, Suniva filed for bankruptcy amid a push for tariffs on low-priced, imported panels, primarily from China, Reuters reported.

The Trump administration imposed tariffs in 2018 in response to Suniva’s ask, despite opposition from some solar developers who argued they have slowed the industry’s growth. The tariffs were extended but relaxed a bit by Biden last year, per Reuters.

New York investment firm Lion Point Capital has owned Suniva since it exited bankruptcy in 2019.

The plant will have an initial production capacity of 1 gigawatt per year, enough to power roughly 173,000 homes, with plans to expand, per Reuters. The factory's reopening will create up to 240 jobs. 

Elsewhere in the solar sector, Perch Energy raised $30M from Nuveen to accelerate the growth of its community solar developments and expand clean energy access. The investment will help develop Perch’s clean energy tech platform, fund expansion and strategic partnerships, scale operations and customer care services, and grow management talent.

Perch’s partnership with Nuveen will also provide it with access to Nuveen’s portfolio of affordable housing units and apartments. Perch’s goal is to reach low-to-moderate-income consumers to get community solar to households that stand to benefit most, per a press release. 

“Nuveen's financial and strategic support … will create opportunities for consumers of all economic backgrounds to join in on clean energy savings, especially the millions of people who can’t afford or don’t have a home suitable for rooftop panels,” Perch Energy President and CEO Bruce Stewart said in a press release.