America is building more home-grown solar arrays than ever before.

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Take a look at these American solar manufacturers who are competing with—and beating—the Chinese solar industry.

Contrary to reports otherwise, American solar panel manufacturers are growing the size and reach of our national solar industry. One of the myths found in much of our energy discussion is that all solar panels are made oversees, and that American companies cannot compete in the solar manufacturing marketplace.

This is simply not true.

More than 25 growing American companies produce solar panels, right here in the U.S.A. Here is a closer look at three of the leading home-grown solar manufacturers, who produce all of their panels at plants here in the United States:

First Solar

  • This Tempe, Arizona-based international solar competitor relied on California R&D in the 1970s and 1980s to patent and perfect their approach to solar PV panels.
  • First Solar is known for panels that do not deteriorate over time. Investors media conglomerate SeekingAlpha notes, “It is typical for solar panels to become less efficient over time. In terms of relative performance, a panel that proved 75% of the energy it did 25 years after purchase is viewed favorably. The First Solar Series 6 Panels utilize advanced thin-film solar technology to provide efficiency on the higher side of the spectrum with a relatively lower drop-off, all at less than $0.5 cost per MW hour. This is half of where First Solar distinguishes itself…. First Solar’s Series 6 still provides an impressive 83.5% relative performance after 30 years. The panels are also quite durable and cope well with physical damage and general wear and tear.”

Tesla Solar

  • Founded by inventor, entrepreneur and the world’s second-richest man, Elon Musk, Tesla Solar pairs solar panels with their patented battery storage in most installations.
  • Tesla Solar is famous for the development of solar roofing tiles. Austin, TX recently pioneered these in the building of Tesla’s first “Solar Neighborhood” which incorporates the solar tiles and battery storage in every home.
  • “The Tesla Solar neighborhood was provisionally named SunHouse at Easton Park. Tesla Energy has partnered with developers Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Darca on the project. Easton Park is a 2,400-acre community southwest of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport … Brookfield Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tammy Schneider estimates Easton Park will be fully built in 8 to 10 years with about 10,000 homes. SunHouse at Easton Park will [feature] … homes equipped with Tesla Solar and Powerwall, the company’s home battery storage system.

Panasonic Solar

  • This American household name in electronics has pioneered their approach to solar by working with a select group of Panasonic licensed technicians. In 2020, Panasonic execs reported that they had sold out of most panels produced in the first half of the year, in spite of the pandemic. Here is how Panasonic describes its approach to solar installation:
  • “By expanding our Elite and Premium Installer network in three markets, we are providing more homeowners with quality solar and storage solutions to meet their energy needs,” says David Lopez, National Sales Manager, Panasonic Life Solutions Company of America. “Homeowners who purchase energy solutions, such as the new EverVolt modules and acclaimed EverVolt Home Batteries, through a member of our installer network, not only receive exclusive benefits, but also enjoy peace of mind that only comes with warranties backed by a company with a century of proven staying power.” Introduced in 2016, the Panasonic Solar Residential Installer Program provides exclusive benefits and business opportunities to tiers of installers who meet certain qualifications including Panasonic’s high standard of excellence. In addition to business-supporting perks, members of these tiers are able to pass on to consumers the benefits they receive, such as special pricing and preferred access to in-demand and new products.
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About author
Chad Forcey comes to PennCEF with considerable experience in the world of advocacy. Forcey served the Irrigation Association and the PA Landscape and Nursery Association. He was the personal aide to Governor Mark Sweiker during his tenure in Harrisburg. An articulate spokesperson and seasoned writer, he works to educate, advocate, and engage Pennsylvanians to transition to clean energy in ways that bring jobs to the Commonwealth, make sense economically, protect land rights and guard our national security.
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