Key Takeaways | Solar, Storage and Critical Minerals Update: How Recent Trade Decisions Are Materially Impacting Renewable Energy Project Development and Financeability - McDermott Will & Emery

Key Takeaways | Solar, Storage and Critical Minerals Update: How Recent Trade Decisions Are Materially Impacting Renewable Energy Project Development and Financeability

Overview



During this webinar, Partner Carl Fleming was joined by Blank Rome’s Tyler Kimberly and Lynn Kamarck for a discussion on the significant issues that developers, investors and lenders are facing as a result of recent increases in solar module tariffs, the elimination of prior duty exemptions, the initiation of new antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, and potential new or increased duties on lithium-ion batteries and similar products used to store solar energy.

Top takeaways included:

  • Effective June 26, 2024, US President Joe Biden removed the exclusion of bifacial modules from Section 201 tariffs that had mostly been in place since early 2017. The resulting tariff increase could significantly impact the cost of developing solar and storage projects, affecting supply contracts and project finance decisions.
  • The US Department of Commerce issued a determination that several solar module producers in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have been circumventing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on solar modules from China. Importers can avoid these tariffs by meeting certain specific certifications, including a Chinese component certification. Entries after June 6, 2024, are no longer eligible for the tariff moratorium.
  • Developers should review their procurement strategies, avoid noncooperating suppliers and ensure compliance with certification requirements to mitigate risks associated with these antidumping and countervailing tariffs.
  • In May 2024, Commerce initiated new antidumping and countervailing duty investigations concerning solar cells and modules from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam that are not already covered by the circumvention determination. This may lead to the imposition of new tariffs, impacting supply chain costs.
  • The Biden administration also proposed an increase in Section 301 duties on Chinese solar modules and energy storage products and some take effect as early as August 1, 2024. This proposed tariff increase could significantly affect the costs of solar cells and modules and battery storage, given that most lithium-ion battery imports used in battery storage projects come from China.

SPEAKERS


Lynn Kamarck, Senior Counsel, Blank Rome
Tyler Kimberly, Associate, Blank Rome

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