Suniva, Inc., a bankrupt U.S. producer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) cells, filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking relief from foreign manufactured CSPV cells and modules. Suniva requests relief in the form of a minimum price for solar modules imported into the United States and imposition of an additional four-year tariff on all imported CSPV cells and modules that would establish a price-per-watt double that of foreign competitors.

The requested relief calls for an initial tariff of $0.40/watt per solar cell (to decrease annually over the course of four years to $0.33/watt in year four), and a minimum floor price of $0.78/watt per solar module (decreasing to $0.68/watt in year four).

The impact on the U.S. solar market could be dramatic, benefiting domestic manufacturers in the short term but potentially decreasing demand for solar development overall due to increased costs and the disruption of established supply chains. A detailed review of the petition can be found in our recent client alert.