Colton Corner: Tariff may affect Colton solar farms
On Jan. 22, the administration of the United States government, following recommendation by the U.S. International Trade Commission, imposed an immediate tariff of 30 percent on solar panels made abroad with the rate declining before phasing out after four years.
With the solar farm along South Highway 211 nearing completion, the question was put to Cypress Creek Renewables (CCR), the company building the solar farms in Colton, of how this new tariff would impact the future of the two solar farms planned for the local area.
"At this time, we remain committed to all of our projects," Jeff McKay, spokesperson for CCR said. "We're optimistic that we will still move forward with the projects in Colton. However, it's too early to determine what impact the tariffs will have."
The official statement from CCR as sent in an email from McKay states:
"We are disappointed with the decision to impose tariffs, but we expected and planned for this. For example, we were able to purchase some supply of modules for 2018 before the tariff takes effect. Because utility scale solar is extremely price sensitive, the tariff will mean that some projects will not get built. Oregon has some very attractive rates for utility scale solar. A thirty percent tariff potentially makes new projects more expensive and less viable, eliminating jobs and tax revenues in the rural counties that need them most."