Cypress Creek cancels 1.5 GW as solar tariffs take toll
- Cypress Creek, one of the largest solar developers in the country, has canceled 1.5 GW of planned capacity as a result of the Trump administration's decision to impose 30% tariffs on imported crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules and cells.
- The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates the tariffs will increase the cost of installing residential and non-residential systems this year by 4% and 6%, respectively. But the agency expects longer-term cost impacts to be moderate.
- A group of Republican Senators has petitioned the president for an exemption from the tariffs for larger 72-cell, 1,500-volt panels used in utility-scale developments. That exemption for larger panels would likely drive up costs for residential customers, Bloomberg reports.
It's been about four months since President Trump placed tariffs on imported solar panels, and the effects are beginning to show. Bloomberg reported Cypress Creek would cancel $1.5 billion in development, and Greentech Media later confirmed that would be about 1.5 GW in projects.
"The tariff forced us to re-evaluate some of our projects," a Cypress Creek spokesman told GTM.
The tariff is expected to be in effect for four years, declining 5% annually until it expires. EIA estimates the 30% increase in module costs "raises total installed costs by about 10%, as modules represent about one-third of total system costs for utility-scale systems."
However, the EIA estimates the tariffs will have less of an impact on solar-powered generation than changes in the investment tax credit.
"Although the impact of the approved tariff on solar cells and modules is expected to affect utility-scale solar PV more than end-use solar PV, the effect of the increase in final system cost is expected to moderate by 2025," the agency said in a May 14 report, noting that "module costs account for a smaller percentage of total costs for end-use solar PV systems."
Last year, two U.S.-based solar manufacturers, Suniva and SolarWorld, petitioned for import relief using a rare Section 201 global safeguard measure. Both companies eventually filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming low-price imports, mostly from Chinese companies based in other countries.
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