The Request for Information aims to help with future solar-panel solicitations
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On September 19, as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to spur Made-in-America clean energy industries, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) issued a Request for Information (RFI) to learn more about the availability of domestically manufactured solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and components. GSA seeks to better understand how it can encourage domestic manufacturing of PV panels through federal procurement as part of a comprehensive policy to support both decarbonizing the U.S. electric grid and securing a domestic clean energy supply chain.
“Today’s action seeking input from industry is a prime example of how we’re harnessing federal buying power to catalyze clean energy innovation and spur domestic manufacturing,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “GSA is proud to be contributing to the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to lower energy costs, combat the climate crisis, and ensure the clean energy future is built right here in the USA.”
“Today’s step towards domestic clean energy manufacturing is yet another example of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to ensuring our clean energy future is built here in America by American workers,” said Celeste Drake, Director of the Made in America Office. “Investing in solar panels that are made in America would deliver on President Biden’s whole-of-government procurement strategy to create more green jobs here in America as we combat the climate crisis.”
The information received will help GSA develop a procurement strategy, which will potentially include a standard for use in future solicitations where the use of PV panels and components are required.
The RFI supports the goals of several Executive Orders: EO 14005 on Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers, EO 14017 on America’s Supply Chains, and EO 14057 on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability.
“Clean energy technologies such as solar photovoltaics play a critical role in our strategy to modernize the electric power system,” shared Andrew Mayock, US Federal Chief Sustainability Officer. “The expansion of our domestic manufacturing capability, incentivized by the Inflation Reduction Act and further supported by government procurement, will result in lower energy costs for all, increase the resilience of our power grid, create good-paying jobs at home, and help prevent further worsening of the climate crisis.”
The President also recently called for the development of new agreements for “domestically manufactured solar power systems to increase the speed and efficiency with which domestic clean electricity providers can sell their products to the U.S. Government” and “[s]o-called ‘Super Preferences’ to apply domestic content standards for federal procurement of solar power systems, including domestically manufactured solar photovoltaic components, consistent with the Buy American Act.” These actions aim to spur domestic clean energy manufacturing, lower energy costs, and create good-paying jobs. GSA is seeking industry input on how best to meet these goals.
GSA encourages industry partners to provide input on the state of the marketplace, as well as considerations that GSA should keep in mind as it crafts a potential procurement standard. Responses can be submitted via Regulations.gov and are due by November 18, 2022. After the comment period closes, GSA can better gauge the timeline for future steps in the rulemaking process.