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Tempe-Based Solar Company To Rollout Updated Solar Panels Early
Tempe-based First Solar announced the early rollout of its updated solar panels Tuesday at its investor call.
CEO Mark Widmar said the company made the decision to accelerate the introduction of the series 6 panel to the marketplace, in part, to meet increasing demand for First Solar’s panels, which cost less than other panels by avoiding new import taxes.
“A year ago we a made a decision we were going to move that forward," Widmar said. "As a result of that acceleration, we’d actually get a gigawatt in 2018. We pulled the schedule 12 months forward.”
In April, a Georgia-based solar company filed a trade complaint, saying low-cost imports had damaged U.S. panel producers.
The U.S. International Trade Commission agreed and now import duties may be put in place by President Trump.
First Solar uses a unique technology, so its products — even those made in other countries — are exempt from the import duties.
That’s increased demand this year for the company and driven up panel prices across the industry as developers seek to stockpile inventory.