SolarWorld, Silicon Energy, and Suniva went from leading the US solar industry leaders to being broke. Tesla also stopped manufacturing. On the other hand, SunPower remains operational, but it moved most of its manufacturing to Asia and Mexico.
Currently, a Chinese company called Jinko is taking over the US. They have large-scale solar panel manufacturing in Florida.
Aside from Jinko, two other brands are running their operations on US soil: Itek Energy in Washington, and Mission Solar, in Texas. However, they are small manufacturers still straddling the fence on how much they should produce.
Before Trump’s administration ended, he imposed tariffs on Chinese manufacturers to support US manufacturers. However, the low production costs (due to large-scale production) and high quality of Chinese solar panels are hard to compete with.
Criteria for choosing the right manufacturer
You will encounter other brands as you search for the right solar panels. Here are the things you should look for to make the right choice:
Factory in superb condition
The manufacturer should have good quality factories and a flawless manufacturing process. This reduces defects and ensures quality and longevity.
The manufacturer should have a wide-scale production of solar panels, which helps lower production cost. A cost-effective process makes manufacturers more receptive to warranty claims.
However, price doesn’t necessarily ensure quality. Sometimes, the price difference is due to production size, brand reputation, and a huge network of business partners.
The solar panel company must be profitable and financially healthy to ensure they can provide support to those who availed of their solar panels for the next 25 years, which is how long solar panels usually last.
Company with up-to-date technology
The company must use the latest cell technology that optimizes efficiency and energy output.
The brand should have a competitive price relative to product quality to ensure you get the best value for your money.
Local and global dealerships
The brand should have both global and local networks or dealerships. A global network shows quality and trustworthiness, and a local network ensures its commitment to the local market, including you.