SunPower said it would buy U.S. solar panel maker SolarWorld Americas, expanding its domestic manufacturing as it seeks to stem the impact of Trump administration tariffs on panel imports.
Remember it was SolarWorld that filed a trade complaint that led to anti-subsidy and anti-dumping tariffs on Chinese and Taiwanese solar imports in 2014, and last year, it joined Suniva’s Section 201 trade case that led to a 30% tariff on most solar imports earlier this year.
Interestingly enough, SolarWorld had asked Trade officials to exclude SunPower from the Trump tariffs. But SolarWorld was never able to make it on its own and had begun shopping for bidders for its operations in 2017.
“We are thrilled to announce this agreement to acquire SolarWorld Americas, one of the most respected manufacturers of high-quality solar panels for more than 40 years,” said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO and chairman of the board.
“The time is right for SunPower to invest in U.S. manufacturing, and SolarWorld Americas provides a great platform for us to implement our advanced P-Series solar panel manufacturing technology right here in our home market. P-Series technology was invented and perfected in Silicon Valley, and will now be built in SolarWorld Americas’ factory, helping to reshape solar manufacturing in America.”
SunPower plans to ramp SolarWorld Americas operations to capitalize on strong U.S. market demand.
The company will invest in factory improvements and increased working capital, while retrofitting a portion of the facility to produce P-Series solar panels, in addition to continuing to produce and ship SolarWorld Americas’ legacy products.