More than 550 U.S. solar companies have signed a letter emphasizing the severe challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and outlining policy proposals that could save jobs and support American families. These companies represent some of the largest manufacturers, owners, developers, installers and operators of solar projects nationwide.
“Our #1 priority is the protection of our workers. For us, the 250,000 jobs in the solar industry are not just numbers, they represent a quarter million American families who depend on a healthy solar industry to put food on the table and pay their bills,” SEIA said in a statement.
Following is a statement from Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, on the letter:
“As the COVID-19 crisis reaches new heights, we are grateful that Congress is putting American families and their safety and wellbeing first. This is a public health crisis that is affecting Americans on a personal and an economic level.
“We are also faced with a reality we can’t ignore: the solar industry could lose up to half its workforce as a direct result of COVID-19. At the end of 2019, 250,000 Americans in every state had a career in the solar industry. These are well-paying jobs that put food on the table and keep the lights on.
“But they rely on the strength of our industry. According to our survey, some sectors in the solar industry could see a 50% reduction or more, up from BNEF’s estimate of 16% to 30% just a week ago.
“Today, more than 550 solar companies urged Congress to support our workers as part of any legislative stimulus package. As the stock market tanks, tax equity markets are drying up making it even harder for solar companies to utilize tools like the solar Investment Tax Credit.
“In addition to paid sick leave and small business support, Congress can provide immediate relief to solar families by allowing our companies to utilize the support Congress has already provided to the solar industry and make the Investment Tax Credit either refundable or payable directly to our businesses and customers.”
View the letter below.