The White House announced, that the $737billion, which comes from American Reinvestment and Ecovery Act, has been awarded in 183 projects in 43 states.
“If we harness ingenuity, take the talent of our workers and innovators, and we invest in it, we’ll forge a future where life is better in our country over the long run,” Obama said.
The projects selected must be commissioned by February 2013, and the government expects about one-third of those will be completed this year. The program provides a 30% tax credit for those projects.
The credit is focused on U.S. manufacturing of clean energy technologies such as solar and wind. Obama has said he wants to double the amount of renewable energy the United States uses over the next three years.
In addition to the federal funding, private firms are investing $5.4 billion, which will create 41,000 more jobs, the White House said.
Obama noted the United States spearheaded solar technology, but fell behind Germany and Japan in production, and most of the batteries used here are made in Asia.
“This will help close the clean energy gap between America and other nations,” the president said.
The White House said it received 500 applications from companies seeking a total of $7.6 billion in aid by the program’s Oct. 16 deadline. The departments of Energy and Treasury reviewed the applications, and sent their selections to the Internal Revenue Service to award the credit.
The applications were screened for a variety of factors, including job creation potential, technological innovation and geographical diversity. The new facilities should also boost the export of U.S. manufactured clean energy products, the government said.
Advantage was given to “shovel-ready” projects — those that have state and local permits in place and are ready to go, senior officials said. Only projects that can break ground in 2010 could qualify for the credit.
Some of the funds will go to companies with headquarters outside the United States, but the money must be committed to building U.S. facilities and creating domestic jobs.
Qualifying facilities included the production of plug-in electric vehicles, geothermal equipment, fuel cells and microturbines.