Major PV manufacturer, Trina Solar said it was planning to better serve its growing US customer base on the back of increased demand through establishing its first PV module manufacturing operations outside China.
Management noted in its second quarter earnings call that module demand from the US had increased significantly in the second quarter of 2014 and projected similar strong demand through the rest of the year. Demand was expected to remain strong in 2015 based on preliminary customer requirements, according to management.
Trina Solar had been imposed with the lowest 2012 AD and CVD tariffs, compared with its rivals. It also received the lowest in the most recent preliminary ruling.
As a result of the second round of recent US anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Chinese solar cells and the first duties being imposed on Taiwanese solar cells, companies are looking at strategies to retain PV module shipments into the rapidly growing US market, while trying to avoid paying duties.
Indicating that the US market was a key market for Trina Solar in the future, the company was undergoing site selection analysis for a manufacturing plant but did not say what countries assessments were being made in.
Recent reports have identified Mexico and Malaysia as prime candidates, though the US should not yet be ruled out.
Trina Solar management noted that it could be supporting customers in the US better in 2015, signalling a decision on site selection soon.
The company reported PV modules shipments to the US in the second quarter that reached around 220MW, up from only 67MW in the first quarter of 2014. The company guided total 2014 module shipments (including its own PV power plant projects) of 3.6GW to 3.8GW with the US accounting for at least 28% to 30% of the total.
Trina Solar is expanding production of modules to 3.8GW in 2014, running at full capacity through the remaining second-half of the year on robust demand from China, Japan and US.