Solar Panel Tariff Felt in Northeast Mississippi

GOLDEN TRIANGLE AREA (WCBI) – Renewable Energy is gaining ground and one source lighting the way for inexpensive renewables has been solar power.

The cost of the panels needed to make the energy, however, has just been hiked up.

President Trump recently placed a 30% tariff on all imported solar panels, which make up about 80% of the panel installed in the country.

His motive behind this is to create jobs and have the U.S. make their own panels, but companies are divided on the issue.

“I think it was opposed by most of the companies that are solar manufacturers in the U.S,” said CEO for Synergetics DCS, David Palmer.

Companies within the U.S. that create panels as compared to the ones that install are divided on if the tariff is beneficial or not.

“It may have some good result for the solar producers, but most developers do not see it as a good thing,” added Palmer.

The tariff has the solar industry as a whole predicting a loss of 23,000 jobs.

Synergetics in Starkville is home to one of our areas largest solar panel farms with panels in Oktibbeha County and on top of the roof of Synergetics’ main office, and Palmer says none of their panels are made in the states.

“Some of our panels have come from China, and some have come from Canada,” Palmer informed.

Synergetics plans to expand to other locations, and even though the price is higher for these panels it’s not going to stop Palmer.

“It’s not going to impact the fact that we do plan to expand and build additional solar farms, but it will increase our costs and that would lower our return,” said Palmer.

The tariff isn’t here to stay forever.

Over the course of the next four years, the tariff will fall from 30% to 15% and eventually zero.

Categories: Local News

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