On April 17, 2017, Suniva, an American panel manufacturer filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy after laying off 131 employees without notice in their Michigan manufacturing facility.
Less than one month later, the German parent company of SolarWorld, which is the largest US manufacturer of solar panels, announced it was filing for bankruptcy as well. The fate of 800 workers in it’s Hillsboro Oregon factory is not clear.
What Does This Mean for You?
Well, if your considering solar for your home, the news is probably not good. Suniva has already petitioned the Trump administration for “global safeguard relief”. They are requesting a minimum four year import tax on PV modules and cells starting at $0.78/watt for modules and $0.40/watt for cells. This will more than double the price of some PV modules. SolarWorld is supporting Suniva’s petition. If passed by the Trump administration, which has made an issue out of unfair trade practices, the cost of a residential solar system would likely rise 25%.
If you’re considering solar, now is probably the best time to get off the fence and act. Solar prices, which have dropped dramatically over the last decade, are unlikely to go much lower if at all and there is a chance that they could increase substantially, particularly if the current administration imposes a duty or tax on imported solar panels and cells.
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