June 13 (Renewables Now) - Bifacial solar panels are now exempt from the Section 201 tariffs on photovoltaic (PV) product imports, imposed in January 2018 by US President Trump, the US Trade Representative (USTR) said yesterday.
The USTR has now reviewed all requests for exclusions from application of the safeguard measure, received in response to a February 2018 notice which described the procedure to request product-specific exclusions.
The announcement on Wednesday adds three specific products to a list of exclusions released in September 2018. At the time, SunPower Corp (NASDAQ:SPWR) was touted as a big winner as the firm’s interdigitated back contact (IBC) cells and modules benefit from the ruling. Now, the exemption of bifacial solar panels brings Chinese solar products back into the picture, especially when it comes to the utility-scale sector. Bloomberg cited Hugh Bromley, a solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, as saying that the US utility-scale solar projects were expected to quickly turn to nearly 100% bifacial products.
Apart from bifacial solar panels, the latest additions to the list of products exempt from the solar tariffs include also flexible fiberglass solar panels without glass components other than fiberglass, and a specific type of PV panel in which the solar cells are arranged in rows and laminated in the panel with a distance of more than 10 mm between the cells, with an optical film spanning the gaps between all rows and directing sunlight onto the solar cells.
The USTR will not be considering any more exclusion requests.