Solar Power World‘s Billy Ludt explores how solar mounting and racking companies have dealt with the steel tariffs since they were enacted in this new article. For his research, Billy interviewed three power (pun intended) players in the solar racking/mounting business.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
“For us, steel is not as important a component, because we’re looking at labor savings, which is going to be far more than steel tariffs will ever be,” [Quest CEO Finn] Findley said. “The cost of steel relative to the overall cost of the project isn’t a huge percentage. What we have actually found is that by making the construction process more efficient, we could drive more savings into designing carports.”
The luxury of not worrying about steel price jumps is exclusive to companies that both fabricate and install their mounting and racking products. Quest led a large outreach initiative in preparation for the tariffs. Sales and marketing personnel were contacting customers to quell any anxieties about the tariffs.
As the steel tariff was imposed, Quest Renewables was undergoing improvement in its supply chain, so finding more efficient suppliers was already a priority. It allowed the company to purchase larger quantities of steel and maintain its prices without absorbing the cost.
“I think that this is probably a good exercise to go through as the industry prepares for the sunsetting of the Investment Tax Credit — to see how to deal with economic adversity and continue to be successful,” Findley said. “It’s instructive for the industry to look at the tariffs and see how we deal with a rising cost environment.”
You can read the entire article here.