Today’s the last day public comments can be made on any requests for solar tariff exemptions to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Any final decisions on any tariff exemptions will be made by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, after consultation with Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
Of more than 50 requests from various companies for their products to bypass the current 30% tariffs, only a few have received multiple letters of support from the public thus far. Some notable supporters:
SunPower seeks exemption for its copper-plated interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cells used in high-efficiency modules. Letters of support came from anonymous individuals, Hynes Industries, Tower Automotive (which supplies manufacturing equipment to SunPower) and installer Cosmic Solar.
REC looks to exclude its TwinPeak modules with 120 half-cut cells. Many solar installers showed their support for this exemption, including Centroplan USA, ContiSolar, GEM Energy, Graybar Electric, NATiVE, REC Solar, ProVision Solar, Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort and Sunpoint Energy. The Singaporean government also submitted a letter supporting REC’s exemption from the tariffs.
The eight-member Utility-Scale Solar Coalition wants all 72-cell, 1,500-volt modules excluded. Many individuals showed their support of this exemption, including many reps from Swinerton Renewable Energy, along with the Southern Renewable Energy Association (SREA) and Ingeteam.
JinkoSolar‘s request for its PERC cells to be exempt from the tariffs was supported by Strata Solar, SREA and Jacksonville City Council vice president Aaron Bowman, especially since Jinko officially confirmed its plans to build a U.S. module assembly factory in Jacksonville, Florida.
Will any of this support make a difference?