- SEIA is urging the USITC to phase out Section 201 safeguard tariffs on imported solar cells and modules
- NJBPU has awarded 165 MW community solar capacity under Program Year 2 of Community Solar Energy Pilot Program
- NIPSCO has announced construction on the company’s 2 solar power projects by NextEra Energy and EDPR NA
- Solaria Corporation says the USITC has issued an initial ruling in its favor regarding the patent infringement case it filed against Canadian Solar
SEIA wants the US to phase out Section 201 tariffs: The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has submitted a prehearing brief to the US International Trade Commission (USITC), urging the authority to phase out Section 201 global safeguard tariffs on imported solar cells and modules that were imposed by the US President Donald Trump (see Trump Slaps 30% Tariff On Imported Cells & Modules). The tariffs were supposed to drop down by 5% annually, but the Trump administration increased the level to 18% in 2021. SEIA’s argument is that the tariffs have only produced marginal investments in domestic module assembly facilities that are not enough to serve the growing solar demand in the US. Since the imposition of tariffs, the US solar industry has ‘missed out on more than 62,000 jobs, $19 billion in private sector investment and more than 10 GW of solar deployment’.
SEIA will testify before the USITC on November 3, 2021, post which the USITC will make a recommendation to the US President Joe Biden to extend, modify or phase out the tariffs.
NJBPU awards 165 MW community solar: The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has approved 105 applications, representing 165 MW solar energy capacity, for the state’s Program Year 2 of its Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. It is part of the state’s 100% clean energy target to be achieved by 2050. These projects will be located on landfills, brownfields, or rooftops. Approved projects will allocate a minimum of 51% of their capacity to low- and moderate-income participants. In July 2021, the agency approved a new solar incentive program called Successor Solar Incentive Program (SuSI), making way for an additional 3.75 GW new solar in the state by 2026 (see New Jersey To Support 3.75 GW New Solar By 2026).
NIPSCO breaks ground on 2 solar projects in Indiana: The Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO) has announced construction commencement for 2 solar power projects, company’s 1st solar projects. Dunns Bridge Solar I has 265 MW capacity and is coming up in Jasper County of Indiana, with construction services provided by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. It will be equipped with some 900,000 solar panels and come online in 2022. Under phase 2 of this project, 435 MW solar will come up with 75 MW battery storage and an estimated 1,500,000 solar panels and become operational in 2023. It will also be built by NextEra Energy Resources that will sell clean power from both the projects to NIPSCO (see NextEra Contracted By NIPSCO For 900 MW New Solar).
The other solar farm that has entered construction is 200 MW Indiana Crossroads Solar in White County, Indiana. It is being built by EDP Renewables North America (EDPR NA). NIPSCO aims to become 100% coal-free by 2028.
Initial ITC ruling in favor of Solaria Corporation: In its patent infringement case against Canadian Solar, Solaria Corporation said the USITC has granted an important initial ruling in its favor (see Solaria Accuses Canadian Solar Of Patent Infringement). The judge issued an initial determination finding that Canadian Solar violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in their importation of shingled solar modules. This constitutes violation of US Patent 10, 651, 333 and US patent 10,763,388. “The Judge’s Initial Determination unequivocally demonstrates that Canadian Solar utilized Solaria’s innovations and technology without permission and in violation of U.S. patent law. In so finding, the Judge ruled against Canadian Solar’s claims that the patents were invalid and not infringed,” stated Solaria. “Solaria is confident that the ITC will issue an exclusion order preventing Canadian Solar from importing and selling shingled modules in the US.”