Nationwide Limited Public Interest Waiver Under Section 1605 (Buy American) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), 9766-9767 [2011-3849]

Download as PDF 9766 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 35 / Tuesday, February 22, 2011 / Notices comment will follow the 10-minute rule. Minutes: The minutes of this meeting will be available for viewing on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Web site at: https://www.er.doe.gov/ascr/ ASCAC/ASCAC.html. Issued at Washington, DC on February 15, 2011. LaTanya Butler, Acting Deputy Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2011–3848 Filed 2–18–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Nationwide Limited Public Interest Waiver Under Section 1605 (Buy American) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). AGENCY: ACTION: Notice of extension of limited waiver. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is hereby granting a sixmonth extension of the amended nationwide limited waiver of the Buy American requirements of section 1605 of the Recovery Act under the authority of section 1605(b)(1) (amended public interest waiver), with respect to the following solar photo-voltaic (PV) equipment: (1) Domesticallymanufactured modules containing foreign-manufactured cells, (2) Foreignmanufactured modules, when completely comprised of domesticallymanufactured cells, and (3) Any ancillary items and equipment (including, but not limited to, charge controllers, combiners and disconnect boxes, breakers and fuses, racks, trackers, lugs, wires, cables and all otherwise incidental equipment with the exception of inverters and batteries) when utilized in a solar installation involving a U.S. manufactured PV module, or a module manufactured abroad but comprised exclusively of domestically-manufactured cells until August 6, 2011. This waiver expires August 6, 2011 (six months from the date of expiration of the original waiver). Recipients of EERE Recovery Act funds who have taken substantial steps to commit funds for the purchase of the items covered in this waiver by mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:51 Feb 18, 2011 Jkt 223001 August 6, 2011 will not be impacted by the expiration of this waiver. DATES: Effective Date February 4, 2011. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Benjamin Goldstein, Recovery Act Buy American Coordinator, Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), (202) 287–1553, buyamerican@ee.doe.gov, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Mailstop EE–2K, Washington, DC 20585. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the authority of the Recovery Act, section 1605(b)(1), the head of a Federal department or agency may issue a ‘‘determination of inapplicability’’ (a waiver of the Buy American provisions) if the application of section 1605 would be inconsistent with the public interest. On September 17, 2010, the Secretary of Energy re-delegated the authority to make all inapplicability determinations to the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, for EERE Recovery Act projects. Pursuant to this delegation, the Assistant Secretary has determined that application of section 1605 restrictions would be inconsistent with the public interest for incidental and/or ancillary solar Photovoltaic (PV) equipment, when this equipment is utilized in solar installations containing domestically manufactured PV cells or modules (panels). This extension of the amended public interest determination extends the amended waiver of the Buy American requirements in EERE-funded Recovery Act projects for the purchase of the following solar PV equipment: (1) Domestically-manufactured modules containing foreign-manufactured cells, (2) Foreign-manufactured modules, when completely comprised of domestically-manufactured cells, and (3) Any ancillary items and equipment (including, but not limited to, charge controllers, combiners and disconnect boxes, breakers and fuses, racks, trackers, lugs, wires, cables and all otherwise incidental equipment with the exception of inverters and batteries) when utilized in a solar installation involving a U.S. manufactured PV module, or a module manufactured abroad but comprised exclusively of domestically-manufactured cells. This waiver expires August 6, 2011 (six months from the date of expiration of the original waiver). Recipients of EERE Recovery Act funds who have taken substantial steps to commit funds for the purchase of the items covered in this waiver by August 6, 2011 will not PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 be impacted by the expiration of this waiver. Definitions—Solar cells are the basic building block of PV technologies. The cells are functional semiconductors, made by processing and treating crystalline silicon or other photosensitive materials to create a layered product that generates electricity by absorbing light photons. The individual cells are cut and/or assembled into larger groups known as panels or modules. These two terms are synonymous and used interchangeably in this memorandum. The panel is the end product, and consists of a series of solar cells, a backing surface, and a covering to protect the cells from weather and other types of damage. A solar array is created by installing multiple modules in the same location to increase the electrical generating capacity. Operational solar PV modules and arrays use cells to capture and transfer solar-generated electricity. The Buy American provisions contain no requirement with regard to the origin of components or subcomponents in manufactured goods used in a project, as long as the manufacturing occurs in the United States [2 CFR 176.70(a)(2)(ii)]. However, determining where final manufacturing occurs in the context of the solar production chain is complicated. Under a plain reading of the Recovery Act Buy American provisions, only the PV modules would need to be manufactured in the United States, but the source of the component parts—including the high-value cells— would not be relevant to complying with the Buy American requirements. EERE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have conducted extensive research into the nature of the domestic solar manufacturing industry to determine the best way to apply the Buy American requirements to solar PV projects. EERE considered three basic options: (1) To follow a plain reading of the Buy American provisions and require that only the modules be produced in the United States, irrespective of the origin of the cells contained in the modules; (2) determine that the modules and cells are distinct manufactured goods and thus both must be produced in the United States; and (3) choose a more inclusive approach that allows a solar installation to comply if either the cells or the modules are manufactured in the United States. Of the options considered, only option (3) recognized EERE’s determination that the manufacture of PV cells and modules represent distinct instances of ‘‘substantial transformation’’ along the solar PV manufacturing chain, and that the public interest is best E:\FR\FM\22FEN1.SGM 22FEN1 mstockstill on DSKH9S0YB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 35 / Tuesday, February 22, 2011 / Notices served by allowing either instance of substantial transformation to qualify the final solar installation or array as compliant with the Buy American provisions. Conducting either of these discrete activities (production of the cells or the modules) in the United States creates roughly equal numbers of American jobs, and aligns squarely with purpose and the principles the Recovery Act Buy American provision by focusing on the highest-value and most labor-intensive processes along the solar PV manufacturing chain. The extension of the Solar Public Interest Waiver also demonstrates EERE’s commitment to the continued swift expenditure of Recovery Act funds, by permitting grantees to utilize a diverse range of existing American-manufactured solar technologies. This is a one-time extension encouraging grantees to complete their projects in an expedient manner; strengthening local clean energy infrastructure while leveraging Recovery Act dollars to support U.S. jobs along the solar manufacturing supply chain and in high-skill solar installation activities. For all the reasons outlined above, the Assistant Secretary of EERE has determined it is in the public interest to issue a one-time extension of the Solar Public Interest Waiver of the Recovery Act Buy American provisions, permitting EERE Recovery Act grantees to utilize solar PV installations where either the cell or the module is manufactured in the United States. In addition, this extended public interest determination waives the Buy American requirements for all ancillary items that are incidental in cost and technological significance, thus eliminating ambiguities concerning whether the incidental items are final manufactured goods or merely components of a larger solar module, installation or array. These items include, but are not limited to, charge controllers, combiners and disconnect boxes, breakers and fuses, racks, trackers, lugs, wires, and cables. Inverters and batteries remain subject to the Buy American provisions. This helps support the solar installation industry, because it removes the burden from businesses—especially small businesses—of verifying the origin of each of the many minor components of a solar installation or array. This also benefits grantees, businesses, American taxpayers and the Department of Energy by encouraging more competitive bids on solar projects. Issuance of this nationwide public interest waiver recognizes EERE’s VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:51 Feb 18, 2011 Jkt 223001 commitment to expeditious costing of Recovery Act dollars by enabling recipients to easily ascertain whether a given solar installation complies with the Buy American provision. Simultaneously, this waiver advances the purpose and the principles of the Buy American provision by focusing on the highest-value and most laborintensive pieces of solar PV equipment. In light of the foregoing, and under the authority of section 1605(b)(1) of Public Law 111–5 and the Redelegation Order, dated September 17, 2010, with respect to Recovery Act projects funded by EERE, the Assistant Secretary on February 4, 2011 issued an extension of the amended ‘‘determination of inapplicability’’ (a waiver under the Recovery Act Buy American provisions) for the following items: (1) Domestically-manufactured modules containing foreign-manufactured cells, (2) Foreign-manufactured modules, when completely comprised of domestically-manufactured cells, and (3) Any ancillary items and equipment (including, but not limited to, charge controllers, combiners and disconnect boxes, breakers and fuses, racks, trackers, lugs, wires, cables and all otherwise incidental equipment with the exception of inverters and batteries) when utilized in a solar installation involving a U.S. manufactured PV module, or a module manufactured abroad but comprised exclusively of domestically-manufactured cells until August 6, 2011. This waiver expires August 6, 2011 (six months from the date of expiration of the original waiver). Recipients of EERE Recovery Act funds who have taken substantial steps to commit funds for the purchase of the items covered in this waiver by August 6, 2011 will not be impacted by the expiration of this waiver. Furthermore, the Assistant Secretary reserves the right to revisit and amend this determination based on new information or new developments. Authority: Pub. L. 111–5, section 1605. Issued in Washington, DC, on February 4, 2011. Cathy Zoi, Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy. [FR Doc. 2011–3849 Filed 2–18–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9767 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Nationwide Categorical Waivers Under Section 1605 (Buy American) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). ACTION: Notice of limited waivers. AGENCY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is hereby granting a nationwide limited waiver of the Buy American requirements of section 1605 of the Recovery Act under the authority of Section 1605(b)(2) (iron, steel, and the relevant manufactured goods are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and of a satisfactory quality) with respect to (1) two-stage, steam heated absorption chillers rated at 500– 1,500 tons; (2) single wall evacuated tube collectors for solar thermal systems (when used in an educational context for the purposes of comparing relative efficiency of solar thermal technologies); (3) 2-ton adsorption chillers (for educational purposes, or where alternative technologies are not serviceable); (4) LED Lamp and controller for studio lights in a television broadcast studio (where a CRI (Color Rendition Index) sufficient to render accurate flesh tones and natural colors and a precise color tuning control to dial in exact color temperature for accurate colors under multiple lighting setups are required); (5) Global Positioning System (GPS) Time Source Modules (to serve as direct communication link between a county or city’s Traffic Management System (TMS) and the Caltrans Traffic Signal Management and Surveillance System (CTNET)); and (6) elongated wall-hung rear spud toilets (bowl and hardware) that will be used on eligible EERE Recovery Act-funded projects. DATES: Effective Date: January 12, 2011. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Benjamin Goldstein, Energy Technology Program Specialist, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), (202) 287–1553, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop EE–2K, Washington, DC 20585. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the authority of the Recovery Act, Public Law 111–5, section 1605(b)(2), the head of a federal department or agency may issue a ‘‘determination of inapplicability’’ (a waiver of the Buy SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\22FEN1.SGM 22FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 35 (Tuesday, February 22, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9766-9767]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-3849]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


Nationwide Limited Public Interest Waiver Under Section 1605 (Buy 
American) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 
(Recovery Act)

AGENCY: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE).

ACTION: Notice of extension of limited waiver.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is hereby granting a six-
month extension of the amended nationwide limited waiver of the Buy 
American requirements of section 1605 of the Recovery Act under the 
authority of section 1605(b)(1) (amended public interest waiver), with 
respect to the following solar photo-voltaic (PV) equipment: (1) 
Domestically-manufactured modules containing foreign-manufactured 
cells, (2) Foreign-manufactured modules, when completely comprised of 
domestically-manufactured cells, and (3) Any ancillary items and 
equipment (including, but not limited to, charge controllers, combiners 
and disconnect boxes, breakers and fuses, racks, trackers, lugs, wires, 
cables and all otherwise incidental equipment with the exception of 
inverters and batteries) when utilized in a solar installation 
involving a U.S. manufactured PV module, or a module manufactured 
abroad but comprised exclusively of domestically-manufactured cells 
until August 6, 2011. This waiver expires August 6, 2011 (six months 
from the date of expiration of the original waiver). Recipients of EERE 
Recovery Act funds who have taken substantial steps to commit funds for 
the purchase of the items covered in this waiver by August 6, 2011 will 
not be impacted by the expiration of this waiver.

DATES: Effective Date February 4, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Benjamin Goldstein, Recovery Act Buy 
American Coordinator, Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program, 
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), (202) 287-
1553, buyamerican@ee.doe.gov, Department of Energy, 1000 Independence 
Avenue, SW., Mailstop EE-2K, Washington, DC 20585.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Under the authority of the Recovery Act, section 1605(b)(1), the 
head of a Federal department or agency may issue a ``determination of 
inapplicability'' (a waiver of the Buy American provisions) if the 
application of section 1605 would be inconsistent with the public 
interest. On September 17, 2010, the Secretary of Energy re-delegated 
the authority to make all inapplicability determinations to the 
Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, for 
EERE Recovery Act projects.
    Pursuant to this delegation, the Assistant Secretary has determined 
that application of section 1605 restrictions would be inconsistent 
with the public interest for incidental and/or ancillary solar 
Photovoltaic (PV) equipment, when this equipment is utilized in solar 
installations containing domestically manufactured PV cells or modules 
(panels).
    This extension of the amended public interest determination extends 
the amended waiver of the Buy American requirements in EERE-funded 
Recovery Act projects for the purchase of the following solar PV 
equipment: (1) Domestically-manufactured modules containing foreign-
manufactured cells, (2) Foreign-manufactured modules, when completely 
comprised of domestically-manufactured cells, and (3) Any ancillary 
items and equipment (including, but not limited to, charge controllers, 
combiners and disconnect boxes, breakers and fuses, racks, trackers, 
lugs, wires, cables and all otherwise incidental equipment with the 
exception of inverters and batteries) when utilized in a solar 
installation involving a U.S. manufactured PV module, or a module 
manufactured abroad but comprised exclusively of domestically-
manufactured cells.
    This waiver expires August 6, 2011 (six months from the date of 
expiration of the original waiver). Recipients of EERE Recovery Act 
funds who have taken substantial steps to commit funds for the purchase 
of the items covered in this waiver by August 6, 2011 will not be 
impacted by the expiration of this waiver.
    Definitions--Solar cells are the basic building block of PV 
technologies. The cells are functional semiconductors, made by 
processing and treating crystalline silicon or other photo-sensitive 
materials to create a layered product that generates electricity by 
absorbing light photons. The individual cells are cut and/or assembled 
into larger groups known as panels or modules. These two terms are 
synonymous and used interchangeably in this memorandum. The panel is 
the end product, and consists of a series of solar cells, a backing 
surface, and a covering to protect the cells from weather and other 
types of damage. A solar array is created by installing multiple 
modules in the same location to increase the electrical generating 
capacity. Operational solar PV modules and arrays use cells to capture 
and transfer solar-generated electricity.
    The Buy American provisions contain no requirement with regard to 
the origin of components or subcomponents in manufactured goods used in 
a project, as long as the manufacturing occurs in the United States [2 
CFR 176.70(a)(2)(ii)]. However, determining where final manufacturing 
occurs in the context of the solar production chain is complicated. 
Under a plain reading of the Recovery Act Buy American provisions, only 
the PV modules would need to be manufactured in the United States, but 
the source of the component parts--including the high-value cells--
would not be relevant to complying with the Buy American requirements.
    EERE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have conducted 
extensive research into the nature of the domestic solar manufacturing 
industry to determine the best way to apply the Buy American 
requirements to solar PV projects. EERE considered three basic options: 
(1) To follow a plain reading of the Buy American provisions and 
require that only the modules be produced in the United States, 
irrespective of the origin of the cells contained in the modules; (2) 
determine that the modules and cells are distinct manufactured goods 
and thus both must be produced in the United States; and (3) choose a 
more inclusive approach that allows a solar installation to comply if 
either the cells or the modules are manufactured in the United States.
    Of the options considered, only option (3) recognized EERE's 
determination that the manufacture of PV cells and modules represent 
distinct instances of ``substantial transformation'' along the solar PV 
manufacturing chain, and that the public interest is best

[[Page 9767]]

served by allowing either instance of substantial transformation to 
qualify the final solar installation or array as compliant with the Buy 
American provisions.
    Conducting either of these discrete activities (production of the 
cells or the modules) in the United States creates roughly equal 
numbers of American jobs, and aligns squarely with purpose and the 
principles the Recovery Act Buy American provision by focusing on the 
highest[hyphen]value and most labor[hyphen]intensive processes along 
the solar PV manufacturing chain.
    The extension of the Solar Public Interest Waiver also demonstrates 
EERE's commitment to the continued swift expenditure of Recovery Act 
funds, by permitting grantees to utilize a diverse range of existing 
American[hyphen]manufactured solar technologies. This is a one-time 
extension encouraging grantees to complete their projects in an 
expedient manner; strengthening local clean energy infrastructure while 
leveraging Recovery Act dollars to support U.S. jobs along the solar 
manufacturing supply chain and in high[hyphen]skill solar installation 
activities.
    For all the reasons outlined above, the Assistant Secretary of EERE 
has determined it is in the public interest to issue a one[hyphen]time 
extension of the Solar Public Interest Waiver of the Recovery Act Buy 
American provisions, permitting EERE Recovery Act grantees to utilize 
solar PV installations where either the cell or the module is 
manufactured in the United States.
    In addition, this extended public interest determination waives the 
Buy American requirements for all ancillary items that are incidental 
in cost and technological significance, thus eliminating ambiguities 
concerning whether the incidental items are final manufactured goods or 
merely components of a larger solar module, installation or array. 
These items include, but are not limited to, charge controllers, 
combiners and disconnect boxes, breakers and fuses, racks, trackers, 
lugs, wires, and cables. Inverters and batteries remain subject to the 
Buy American provisions. This helps support the solar installation 
industry, because it removes the burden from businesses--especially 
small businesses--of verifying the origin of each of the many minor 
components of a solar installation or array. This also benefits 
grantees, businesses, American taxpayers and the Department of Energy 
by encouraging more competitive bids on solar projects.
    Issuance of this nationwide public interest waiver recognizes 
EERE's commitment to expeditious costing of Recovery Act dollars by 
enabling recipients to easily ascertain whether a given solar 
installation complies with the Buy American provision. Simultaneously, 
this waiver advances the purpose and the principles of the Buy American 
provision by focusing on the highest-value and most labor-intensive 
pieces of solar PV equipment.
    In light of the foregoing, and under the authority of section 
1605(b)(1) of Public Law 111-5 and the Redelegation Order, dated 
September 17, 2010, with respect to Recovery Act projects funded by 
EERE, the Assistant Secretary on February 4, 2011 issued an extension 
of the amended ``determination of inapplicability'' (a waiver under the 
Recovery Act Buy American provisions) for the following items: (1) 
Domestically-manufactured modules containing foreign-manufactured 
cells, (2) Foreign-manufactured modules, when completely comprised of 
domestically-manufactured cells, and (3) Any ancillary items and 
equipment (including, but not limited to, charge controllers, combiners 
and disconnect boxes, breakers and fuses, racks, trackers, lugs, wires, 
cables and all otherwise incidental equipment with the exception of 
inverters and batteries) when utilized in a solar installation 
involving a U.S. manufactured PV module, or a module manufactured 
abroad but comprised exclusively of domestically-manufactured cells 
until August 6, 2011.
    This waiver expires August 6, 2011 (six months from the date of 
expiration of the original waiver). Recipients of EERE Recovery Act 
funds who have taken substantial steps to commit funds for the purchase 
of the items covered in this waiver by August 6, 2011 will not be 
impacted by the expiration of this waiver.
    Furthermore, the Assistant Secretary reserves the right to revisit 
and amend this determination based on new information or new 
developments.

    Authority:  Pub. L. 111-5, section 1605.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 4, 2011.
Cathy Zoi,
Assistant Secretary, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. 
Department of Energy.
[FR Doc. 2011-3849 Filed 2-18-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P