Local officials eye CHIPS Act progress
On Tuesday, there was buzz about a bill that would provide grants, tax credits and other incentives for computer chip manufacturing would see action in the Senate.
In the days leading up to Tuesday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had been telling senators to expect an initial vote as early as Tuesday on a scaled-back bill that would include $52 billion for semiconductor producers in the United States.
As of the time of this report, that vote has not happened.
Lacking a larger agreement, Schumer, D-N.Y., would move to take up a “limited competition bill” that includes the $52 billion in financial incentives and research that was at the heart of the bills passed in the House and the Senate.
It would also include a semiconductor investment tax credit, and additional pieces could be added if they’re ready.
The Biden administration pushed Congress to act on the computer chip legislation before the August recess, warning that manufacturers could opt to locate more plants outside the United States unless action is taken.
Plants are being offered lucrative incentives from other countries such as South Korea, Japan, France, Germany and Singapore to locate plants there.
“(The) pending chips legislation at federal level is meant to encourage the semiconductor industry to expand within the United States. The pending legislation will help offset disparities (between the United States) … and other parts of the world to help re-shore the industry. The legislation is also focused on protecting this nation’s security interests,” said Steven Dimeo, president of Mohawk Valley EDGE on Tuesday..
How does this impact projects like the under-construction Wolfspeed semiconductor fabrication facility in Marcy?
DiMeo continued, “Wolfspeed’s current project was not dependent on federal chips act. … EDGE is dealing with companies that are looking at major expansions and the federal Chips Act and New York’s recent adoption of the Green Chips Excelsior Jobs Program are key drivers on them making final site decisions. Without the federal legislation it is
increasingly difficult to support expanding in the United States.”
DiMeo added that EDGE currently has confidentiality agreements with the companies that are considering the Marcy site.
At an April ceremonial ribbon cutting at Wolfspeed, CEO Gregg Lowe touted a multi-year deal had been inked with (California based, Arizona manufactured) Lucid Automotive, which will be relying on silicone carbide chips from Wolfspeed in the manufacture of their luxury electric automobiles.
Lowe also said there will be more to come as fabrication capacity continues to grow, as construction was ongoing and 10% of the total tool installation was completed.
With a full production ramp-up expected by 2029, Wolfspeed has committed to create more than 600 direct new jobs by that time.
It has also long been anticipated that other relevant businesses would come to the area, benefiting from the proximity.
Also at the April Wolfspeed event, DiMeo said, “New York State and our local partners in government have made steadfast commitments over the last decade to further Upstate’s position as a leader in semiconductor research and fabrication with investments in Marcy Nanocenter and the I-90 innovation corridor. … connecting the Capital Region with … Utica-Rome and Syracuse … which will benefit with the pending passage of federal legislation to support the semiconductor and advanced electronics sector.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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