How will the solar tariff hike affect local businesses?
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The president signed a safeguard tariff on imported solar modules that starts at 30% and ends 4 years later at 15%.
The first 2.5 gigawatts of imported solar cells will be exempt from the tariff each year.
So what’s the local impact?
Anthony Roden of Tennessee Solar Solutions says “I do understand somewhat the reasoning behind that. However, it’s not going to help the solar industry continue to grow.”
Dawn Hjelseth of Green Spaces adds “the tariffs that are being applied on solar panels. That’s a scary word for a lot of people, and we’re here to reassure the public that’s it’s really not as bad as what it sounds.”
Business is good in the Tennessee valley as many homeowners are installing solar panels instead of paying an electric bill.
“The tariff is only on the panels, if the panels is brought here from overseas and so if you’re using American made panel, you’re not going to see any increase in cost.”
And TVA is buying back any unused power at 9 cents per kilowatt.
Green Spaces figures indicate the biggest expense for the solar gardens is installation.
But Anthony Roden thinks the 4 year tariff will affect large scale installations.
“IN my opinion, I feel like its probably going to affect manufacturing, and you know, larger utility scale solar installations the most and we will see a reduction in jobs.”
Wacker’s billion dollar plant in Cleveland produces raw materials to make solar panels, but the company tells the Cleveland paper that “it is not in a panic over Trump’s tariff.”
In Chattanooga, Bill Mitchell News 12 Now.
Watch Anthony Roden’s full interview as he discusses the affect of tariffs on solar businesses.