Stion, a producer of CIGS thin-film solar modules, announced plans to increase its manufacturing capacity of its next generation Elevation™ Series CIGS solar modules for the second half of 2014. The company says that news of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s preliminary tariffs on Chinese solar modules shipped to the U.S., precipitated the production ramp.
The U.S. Commerce Department’s announcement last week came after a lengthy countervailing duty investigation (CVD) for solar products imported into the U.S. from China to address an existing loophole that enabled an unfair pricing advantage to foreign manufacturers. The decision is expected to raise prices on solar imports into the U.S. in the near term pending a final decision on August 18th, 2014. This “anti-dumping” tariff is also expected to significantly increase prices for developers utilizing Chinese-made solar products. The Commerce Department anticipates that many projects may subsequently be delayed or lose funding if Internal Rates of Return for Chinese made solar are adversely affected and the developers are unable to locate a cost-effective, non-Chinese-made alternative.
“We understand that this preliminary tariff will put a strain on the U.S. solar market as current major Chinese solar equipment supplier pricing increases from 18 to 35 percent, with the average Chinese supplier prices increasing by 27 percent,” stated Stion president and CEO, Chet Farris. “We are ramping up our operations to meet the needs of our domestic customers in the near term and for the growing U.S. solar market over the years to come.”