SunPower Exempt From Solar Tariffs

Photovoltaic module producer SunPower has been granted an exclusion from the U.S. Section 201 import tariffs imposed by President Trump in 2018.

California-based module producer SunPower Corp. has announced that its interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cells and modules have been excluded from the U.S. Section 201 import tariffs imposed by President Trump earlier this year. However, modules must be within specific size and power ranges.

The Section 201 import tariffs were applied to all countries with meaningful solar cells and module production, significantly impacting SunPower as its cells and modules are some of the most expensive on the market, while also among those with the highest electricity output. Considering that SunPower produces its IBC cells at two facilities—in the Philippines (400MW capacity) and Malaysia (800MW capacity), the company was in murky waters, even more so since the solar modules are assembled in Mexico.

With today’s decision that SunPower’s highly differentiated IBC cells and modules are excluded from tariffs, we are able to turn the page, SunPower Chairman & CEO Tom Werner said in a prepared statement.

In April this year, SunPower announced its intention to acquire SolarWorld, a German-owned Oregon-based firm, to expand production in the U.S. After the exemption ruling, the acquisition should be completed by the end of the year.