New Jersey politicians poised to pour more ratepayer money into solar power developer pockets

Michael Giberson

The bill isn’t signed into law yet, but New Jersey solar installers are probably breathing a little easier given reports that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to sign a law that would boost the state’s electric utility’s solar power purchase obligation from about one-half of one percent to over two percent of the utilities’ electric power sales. (See related.)

Meanwhile, a New Jersey-based unit of an Italian solar panel maker is calling it quits, saying it couldn’t compete with Chinese solar panel manufacturers. The company, MX Solar USA, LLC, had taken $3.3 million in loans and grants from the state of New Jersey, but apparently it wasn’t enough to enable the solar panel maker located in the countries hottest solar PV market to out compete international solar panel manufacturers. MX Solar was among the U.S. companies that filed the anti-dumping complaint against China that resulted in significant tariffs being imposed on several Chinese manufacturers. The company complains that Chinese manufacturers are evading the tariffs by partnering with companies in other countries.

In an amusing tidbit tossed in right at the end of the article on MX Solar, reportedly the company purchased at least some of the solar cells it used in its solar panels from Chinese solar cell manufacturers. It claimed Chinese solar panels were unfairly subsidized, but when it went shopping for parts, it found Chinese solar cells at prices hard to beat!

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