U.S. photo voltaic firm plans panel manufacturing unit in Panama to problem Asia

Photo voltaic installers from Baker Electrical place photo voltaic panels on the roof of a residential house in Scripps Ranch, San Diego, California, U.S. October 14, 2016. Image taken October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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July 26 (Reuters) – A small U.S. photo voltaic firm with no manufacturing expertise on Tuesday introduced plans to open a photo voltaic panel manufacturing unit in Panama to assist the American business scale back its reliance on Chinese language-made items.

Common Photo voltaic America LLC, an Arizona firm that helps photo voltaic mission builders procure panels, stated its deliberate facility will assist U.S. corporations keep away from tariffs, delivery delays and different challenges which have scuttled a provide chain comprised primarily of merchandise made in Asia.

About 90% of U.S. photo voltaic panels are made abroad, and that reliance on imports has wreaked havoc on the U.S. photo voltaic business at a time when it’s working to fulfill hovering demand from utilities and companies fearful about local weather change.

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Although photo voltaic panels are assembled in a number of Asian nations, the business’s uncooked materials, polysilicon, is primarily produced in China and has been tied to issues about pressured labor within the Xinjiang area.

John Bereckis, Common Photo voltaic’s chief govt, stated he started investigating the potential of opening a facility in Panama final 12 months when the U.S. Commerce Division thought of imposing tariffs on imports from Southeast Asian nations — throwing mission builders’ plans into disarray.

“We began taking a look at… what can we do to attempt to get out of Asia?” Bereckis stated. “The political local weather between China, Asia and the U.S. just isn’t going to get any higher.”

Common Photo voltaic expects to be producing panels on the facility in a free commerce zone in Colon, Panama by the top of this 12 months, Bereckis stated. It should have an preliminary annual capability of 600 megawatts, which it might double early subsequent 12 months.

The corporate has taken orders for greater than 400 MW so removed from undisclosed prospects and is negotiating its first spherical of funding.

Shipments from the power ought to have the ability to attain any U.S. port in about 5 days.

“What we wish to provide is white glove service to a selected group of builders that perhaps can pay a little bit bit extra,” Bereckis stated. “Panama is a good various.”

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Reporting by Nichola Groom; Enhancing by David Gregorio

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https://www.reuters.com/enterprise/power/us-solar-company-plans-panel-factory-panama-challenge-asia-2022-07-26/

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