U.S. International Trade Commission Ruling impacts Our Program

Official press release:

Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland, MA — October 10, 2017. Local Solarize program announces changes after recent federal ruling. After a recent ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on imported solar panels, the Solarize Mass program for Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland (SolarizeLSW) has announced two changes to its program.

On September 22, the ITC ruled that injury was caused to two domestic manufacturers of solar panels by the import of foreign solar panels. Due to this decision, the market prices of solar panels have increased. The ITC will make final recommendations regarding potential remedies, including potential tariffs, to the Trump Administration in November. The Administration will have until January to make a final decision.

Solar panel manufacturers have indicated a potential tariff could be as high as $0.45 per Watt. This could cost the average LSW homeowner an additional $4,000 to install a new array.

To avoid any further price increase, LSW program installer SolarFlair pre-purchased solar panels. It ordered 1,456 Canadian Solar panels (436 kW), which can accommodate approximately 50 projects. Of those 50, 21 projects have already been contracted. The Canadian Solar panels that were pre-purchased are high-quality 300-Watt panels with black frames, black cells, and white grid lines, and are the most popular option for Solarize participants. The availability of LG and Sunpower panels is uncertain.

To address the issue of prices increases, the Solarize Lincoln-Sudbury-Wayland, SolarFlair and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announced a Panel Market Price Increase Adder as part of the program structure.

As a result, homeowners with as-yet unsigned proposals will see a $0.14-per-Watt increase. SolarFlair sales representatives will provide updated proposals. Also those who have yet to request a proposal will see the $0.14 per watt adder. This price change increases the payback for a typical project by only about 3 months.

Homeowners who have already signed a contract with SolarFlair through the Solarize Mass program will not see a change.

What happens after the 1456 Canadian Solar panels are fully committed is unknown. At that point, the Panel Market Price Increase Adder will be reassessed and likely increased to match the market price of solar panels at that time.

Program managers are encouraging residents of Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland considering an investment in solar to act quickly to secure the best price for system installation before potential tariffs on imported solar panels are finalized.

For more information on the SolarizeLSW program, go to SolarizeLSW.org.

For more information on the USITC ruling: https://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2017/er0922ll832.htm.

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