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January 25, 2018

Solar installers plan to work around 30% tariff

Photo / Maureen Milliken
Photo / Maureen Milliken
Fortunat Mueller, cofounder of ReVision Energy, discusses the 4,500-plus solar panels the company installed at Brunswick Landing. The array, which went online Dec. 27, is the company's largest installation.

Maine solar installers say they are somewhat insulated from President Donald Trump's decision to impose a 30% tariff on most solar panels imported to the United States.

"It's something we've seen coming for around nine months, and we've been planning around it," Fortunat Mueller, co-founder of Maine's largest solar installation company, ReVision Energy, told Maine Public.

Mueller and others said they've been stockpiling solar panels. Vaughan Woodruff, president of Pittsfield-based InSource Renewables, said his company buys from a Singapore manufacturer that uses American silicone, and Singapore is one of the few countries not impacted by the tariff ruling. Panels are only a part of a rooftop solar system.

The tariff "may relate to a 5% to 10% increase in the total cost of the system, because the modules are about a quarter of the total system cost," Woodruff said.

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