As Obstacles Rock the Utility-Scale Solar Sector, Now’s the Time to Plan

The solar coaster ride continues. Supply chain disruptions, grid interconnection delays, and the possibility of new tariffs on PV panels imported from Southeast Asia are wreaking havoc on long-laid plans and deals throughout the industry.

Although the solar industry currently faces its share of challenges, the long-term future still looks sunny for utility-scale solar power. And while it might seem counterintuitive, now is the time for utility developers and EPCs to start planning and locating new ways to improve PV system power output and lower levelized cost of energy (LCOE). EPCs and developers can use this time to position themselves to emerge stronger than before from this particularly bumpy solar coaster ride.

Investigation Uncertainties and Interconnection Delays

The most significant source of industry discontent stems from the anti-dumping and countervailing (AD/CVD) petition at the heart of the current U.S. Department of Commerce investigation into imported PV panels from Southeast Asia. The expected decision from the Commerce Department is still several months away. However, the potential for retroactive implementation of tariffs has led many U.S. solar developers to delay or cancel projects. According to a recent report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the probe has already caused an estimated drop of 24GW of planned US solar capacity over the next two years.

While the industry awaits a decision on the AD/CVD, other obstacles abound. The overwhelmed and outdated electrical grid is creating long delays for the interconnection of renewable energy projects, further stifling solar pipelines. In some instances, project-connection wait times have crept up to three and a half years. On the one hand, this backlog is a testament to the tidal wave of solar growth, but on the other hand, it shows just how much more work remains to reach the country’s decarbonization targets. 

For now, the industry can only wait for resolutions to the investigation and interconnection woes. But even with these landscape disruptions, EPCs and developers can still use this time to plan for the future and review past successes. 

The Solar Pros of TrinaPro 

The country’s transition to decarbonized, renewable energy will not disappear; it will only be delayed. This expected return to normalcy means that now is the time for EPCs and developers to identify new ways to improve margins and LCOE for future projects. 

For instance, the one-stop-shop TrinaPro solution can assist in streamlining the procurement of major PV components to help alleviate headaches caused by the AD/CVD. Another innovative new option available for utility-scale solar projects involves using the ground-breaking ultra-high power and ultra-high efficiency Vertex modules with 210mm cell technology. When coupled together, the combination of the TrinaPro solution with Vertex modules provides a new route for reducing CAPEX to achieve the lowest LCOE

The current solar slowdown also provides time for EPCs and developers to review portfolios to identify missed opportunities to boost PV system value in past projects. The TrinaPro team can help check past projects and compare these against the potential value increase of using Vertex modules with TrinaPro.

Reach out to us today to see how we can help EPCs and developers plan and deliver more utility-scale solar project value.

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