SolarWorld and RGS reveal supply deal in response to China tariffs

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The US arm of PV manufacturer SolarWorld has inked a deal to supply American systems integrator RGS Energy with modules for residential, commercial and utility installations.

Although terms of the deal, including shipment volumes, were not disclosed, RGS Energy said in its full-year report in March that it was targeting 55MW of installations this year, compared to 35MW in 2013.

The deal comes as the US government mulls the imposition of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on Chinese and Taiwanese solar imports, potentially increasing the cost of equipment made in these areas. Preliminary anti-subsidy duties of up to 35% were announced earlier this month.

SolarWorld, the company behind the petition that led to this latest US action against China, has long marketed itself on its ‘American-made’ credentials, and talked up this aspect of its deal with RGS.

“This new supplier agreement brings together America’s largest solar panel manufacturer with one of its most well-established and respected solar developers and installers,” said Mukesh Dulani, SolarWorld’s US president.

“This new partnership furthers SolarWorld’s strategy of incrementally growing our business in the US market through multiple channels, and we look forward to ensuring that more and more Americans have access to high-quality, high-power solar technology.”

Kam Mofid, chief executive of RGS Energy, added: “Through this new partnership with SolarWorld, we’ll be able to offer our customers more domestically produced products of outstanding quality and performance as well as mitigate exposure to recently imposed import tariffs.”

The deal continues an emerging trend in recent weeks of US companies forming home-grown supplier-installer alliances to counter the prospect of Chinese equipment going up in price.

Earlier this week, SolarCity, America’s largest installer, revealed to great fanfare that it had acquired Californian module start-up Silevo and planned to ramp domestic production to multi-gigawatt levels.

SolarCity had previously relied on leading Chinese companies such as Yingli and Trina Solar for equipment.

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