In January, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced 30% tariffs on all imported solar panels. This caused a lot of concern for not only large scale and residential solar projects, but also smaller industrial systems using small solar panels . As of September 19th, the following products were excluded from the import duties. We have great options for small panels from several manufacturers and are happy to say that we have not had any significant price hikes for small industrial panels and systems.
- 45-W off-grid solar panels
- 4-W solar panels
- 60-W panels
- 120-W flexible and semi-flexible panels used for motor vehicles and boats
- 90-W frameless solar panels in colors other than black or blue
- IBC and busbar-less solar cells
- IBC and busbar-less solar panels
- Modules using only U.S.-made solar cells
Seems like sort of a strange list! SunPower, a U.S. company that produces modules in the Philippines and Mexico, seems to be the biggest winner with these exclusions. The USTR received more than 50 exemption requests. Sunpower had announced that in April that it would acquire SolarWorld, who has a 500 MW capacity solar panel production plant in Oregon. This acquisition should go through by the end of the year.
Many other companies are going to set up new, or retrofit older PV production facilities in the United States to avoid the tariffs currently in place, as well as smaller companies working with OEM plants. So far, some of the biggest noticeable hits that the tariffs have had seem to be on large scale projects.
Here at SolarPanelStore.com we did see a small hike in panel pricing, but now see the prices declining again back to where they were at the beginning of the year, and have plenty of great panel options starting around $0.60 / W.