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Discussion Starter #1
I hadn’t purchased my solar panels as yet, although I knew a decision was coming on tariffs. First, I wouldn’t need them until the end of my build, and all the reports I read said that they would be capped at a certain price per watt and I was hoping to buy high efficiency cells that would likely be exempt.

But this article indicates that the tariffs will start at 30% and go down to 25%, 20% and 15% each year afterward and no mention of a price per watt cap.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/22/business/trump-tariffs-washing-machines-solar-panels.html

Does anyone know when this will be effective? Should I try to buy existing stock that’s already been been imported, or will the prices jump too quickly for this to matter? Are there any viable non Chinese-built options out there?
 

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I purchased a 100 watt panel from Home Depot for $109 + tax to add to my already 100 watt panel that was an option on my Trend motorhome. I also purchased the mounting feet later and purchased matching wiring w/ plugin to work with the controller receptacle on the roof.

MLogan
Smyrna, TN
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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I bought mine last year, now there's a tariff and they are cheaper.
 

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The tariff applies to the wholesale price - back when panels were selling here for $5 a watt that 30% on wholesale would have meant something by adding a dollar to the wholesale price to bring it above $6/watt... Nowadays not so much when the wholesale price is 25¢ or 35¢ (or less) per watt that 30% adds a dime per watt, so panels still retail for 75, 80 or 90¢ per watt.

Yes - on a Megawatt installation it adds up but that's where we need US based industries to supply them instead of off-shoring everything except cashing their checks. Beyond just PV Fab companies it is also USA aluminum, iron-free glass, copper & polymer, packaging and warehousing industries that get shut out by off-shore import/dumping.

It's ALWAYS a fine time to buy more PV :p
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A fair number of panels are assembled in the US from Chinese components, and they probably skirt the tariffs. I know there's a Chinese manufacturer in Jacksonville, JinkoSolar, that was getting local incentives to start up a plant.

There was a wave of moving plants to Malaysia before that and so on. It's early yet, we may not have passed the initial 2.5 Gigawatts quota for this to take effect. That's more than the 1.21 gigawatts required to power Emmett Brown's flux capacitor ;)
 

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Phil has that started?
[email protected] tariffs, sales taxes, chicken tax, GAT, VAT and other schemes to make me poorer. In anticipation of the steel tariff my son and I just bought a garage lift to avoid it. The thing weighs about 1400 lbs and is almost all steel so 25% on that would have been another $350-$450. I probably helped the Chinese but who knows anymore? The stories change day to day so I would probably not worry about a $125 solar panel but for bigger things it is an important unknown, AFAICT.
 

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Hehe, for anyone who does not know about the Chicken Tax (25% tariff on imported light trucks since 1963!), it's worth a read, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax Without it, we might see a lot more small, economical vans and light pickups instead of the gas-guzzling brutes we've been stuck with for so long.
 
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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi Ziggy,

Some links on buying solar panels....


These guys claim to find the cheapest PV panel prices:
http://www.ecobusinesslinks.com/surveys/free-solar-panel-price-survey/

I ended up buying mine from Platt electric because there is a local Platt Electric in our town and if you pick it up at the local Platt Electric, no shipping charges (which can be pretty large when only ordering a panel or two).

DMSolar sometimes has some good prices:
http://www.dmsolar.com/

Gary
 
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