TUCSON - The fate of the solar energy industry is unclear.
On Monday, President Donald Trump decided to implement a four-year tariff on imported solar panels.
Chad Waits, president and owner of Net Zero Solar in Tucson, is prepared.
“We actually chose to make a substantial purchase of product we knew we would sell -- but get it safe-harbored prior to the tariff taking place,” Waits said.
Net Zero Solar purchases solar panels made by LG in South Korea.
The cost of such overseas product is now questionable.
The four-year tariff starts out at 30 percent in the first year and will decrease to 15 percent by 2022.
Net Zero Solar completes 60-80 projects annually. Ninety-percent of the installations are residential.
According to GTM Research, there will be 11 percent drop in solar panel installations due to the tariffs.
"It will affect the products that we're selling and installing for our consumers. I think we'll be all right. It's just going to take a little while to kind of flesh it all out,” Waits said.
Tucson Electric Power plans to supply 30 percent of its power through renewable energy resources by 2030.
A new 100 megawatt solar array system is expected to be in service next year with the ability to supply power to 21,000 homes.
TEP Spokesman Joseph Barrios noted ensuring cost-effectiveness when it comes to projects and providing for customers continues to be the goal.
As for the tariffs, he said, "In terms of what we have planned, we don't see any immediate impact. In the future, it's a little early to say. It could have an impact on prices.”
It’s estimated the tariffs could result in a loss of nearly 23,000 jobs in the solar panel manufacturing business.