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Silevo Involved in China-US Solar Trade Dispute due to HJT Cells

published: 2016-06-21 17:06

SolarCity’s subsidiary Silevo has to pay anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) for their PV cell exports from China to USA, ruled U.S. International Trade Association (ITA).

Silevo manufactures heterojunction cells (HJT cells) in Hangzhou, China, for supplying clients in USA. However, SolarWorld appealed that Silevo’s HJT cells shall be subject to the AD/CVD duties because they are also c-Si cell imports from China.

Although SolarCity asked for an exemption for Silevo by defending that Silevo’s “Triex” HJT cells are designed as p-i-n junction structure, a thin-film structure with multiple layers, instead of c-Si structure, the U.S. Department of Commerce rejected SolarCity earlier in April. The final ruling was determined to be unveiled in late June.

ITA finally verifies that Silevo’s HJT cells’ p-i-n junction structure is actually a design of p/n junction structure so SolarCity/Silevo have to pay the duties for their Triex imports.

According to the scope defined in ITA’s fact sheet published for the final ruling of the 2014 China PV imports, PV cells that have thickness over 20mm and p/n junction structure will be categorized as c-Si cells and shall be subject to the AD/CVD duties.

"This scope ruling sets an important precedent for the industry, by ensuring that crystalline silicon-based cells do not become classified as thin-film products merely by adding small layers of thin film to the front or the back of the cell,” said Tim Brightbill of Wily Rein LLP, who represented SolarWorld, reported PV Magazine. “As intended by petitioners, the next generation of crystalline-silicon solar cells and modules will be covered by these antidumping and countervailing duty orders.”

Currently, Silevo has 200MW of HJT production capacity in China. As the company have to pay the AD/CVD duties, SolarCity will accelerate building its new HJT production lines domestically in USA for supplying its rooftop customers. The expected production capacity will reach 1GW initially.

The ruling also implies that HJT/HIT technology has been officially categorized as c-Si PV cells that are subject to the punitive duties imposed by the U.S. government on China- and Taiwan-imports.

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