Manufacturers say Petitioners Would Kill American Manufacturing Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The release of the First Edition of Profiles in American Solar Manufacturing highlights some of the 600 American solar manufacturing facilities that have achieved success in the solar boom, and that themselves will be severely injured if a trade case brought by two deeply flawed solar cell companies is successful.
Representatives from small and large companies alike tell the compelling story of how their manufacturing businesses are employing thousands of workers in well-paying jobs. Many of these American manufacturers report that, if the two flawed firms, Suniva and SolarWorld Americas, receive the requested trade relief, they will have to cut jobs.
"The net impact is that the American solar industry will lose many more manufacturing jobs than it will gain from this ill-conceived trade case," said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). "The petitioners made bad business decisions during the biggest boom in American solar energy history. They are now being largely controlled by their creditors who are looking for a bailout from their investments in poorly-run companies. Plain and simple, these companies are not worthy of an injury finding."
The two companies failed to take advantage of opportunities in multiple solar markets, most notably the booming utility-scale segment where they did not offer adequate quality products to utility-scale developers. In the retail segment, they failed to qualify their products with major rooftop purchasers.
The petitioners committed numerous missteps that damaged their reputations in the marketplace and reduced the number of customers willing to buy from them - including in the distributed segment of the market, where they chose to focus their efforts. The record shows that their poor-quality products and poor customer service resulted in burned bridges with customers.
"It is going to be very damaging to the progress of the solar industry," said James Worden, CEO of Solectria Renewables LLC in the Profiles of American Solar Manufacturing. "It will result in cancellation of innumerable solar projects as investors pull out of their deals and there will be a loss of thousands of well-paying jobs."
"This economic pain would extend beyond the solar workforce, impacting companies in the industrial sector that supply Quick Mount PV and other US manufacturers with parts and materials," said Claudia Wentworth, CEO of QuickMount PV, a mounting manufacturer.
To read more about the case and what's at stake go to www.seia.org/trade.
Celebrating its 43rd anniversary in 2017, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 260,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.