More Solar Manufacturing Coming to US Thanks to Climate Law

(Bloomberg) — Enphase Energy Inc. rose the most in three months after the solar-energy maker beat forecast expectations and announced plans to expand in the US following the passage of the country’s landmark clean-energy law.

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The Fremont, California-based company said it will open four to six manufacturing lines in the US. It also forecast fourth-quarter revenue of $680 million to $720 million, above the average estimate of $664.3 million. Shares rose as much as 14%.

After years of relying on Chinese companies for most of its clean energy supply, the US may be on the verge of a cleantech manufacturing boom. Congress this summer passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes generous incentives to support new solar and battery factories. Many manufacturers are eager to make supplies closer to their customers, in part to limit some of the barriers that have blocked shipments since the start of the pandemic.

“This helps us serve customers better,” said Badri Kothandaraman, Enphase’s chief executive officer, in an interview Tuesday. “Now, we don’t have to have shipments that are at sea for four weeks before they come here.”

Shortly after the climate bill was passed, First Solar Inc. — America’s largest panel maker — has announced plans to invest $1.2 billion to expand its manufacturing capacity in the US.

Enphase, which makes components that convert solar electricity into usable energy, is working with three contract manufacturing partners and expects the new lines to open in the second half of 2023. Four lines are equivalent to approximately three million microinverters per quarter.

The company is one of the first solar companies to report earnings every quarter and often provides early insight into the relative health of the sector. Investors will be watching to see if more renewable factories are announced in the coming weeks.

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