A U.S. trade investigation into Chinese solar-panel suppliers could delay about 400 megawatts of Duke Energy Corp. projects, the company said Monday.
Although its 2022 projects and its regulated projects planned for 2023 are still on track, price uncertainty stemming from the trade probe could push about half of the company’s commercial projects planned for 2023 into the following year.
“We may see some projects shift from 2023 to 2024,” Chief Financial Officer Steve Young said on the company’s first-quarter earnings call.
Duke’s disclosure that projects could slip comes just weeks after renewables giant NextEra Energy Inc. said as much as 2.8 gigawatts of its own projects planned for this year “may shift to 2023 due to circumvention investigation.” That’s equivalent to the electricity generated by almost three nuclear reactors.
The U.S. Commerce Department is investigating whether Chinese solar-equipment manufacturers are circumventing tariffs by sending components to other Asian nations for assembly before exporting the finished products. The Solar Energy Industries Association, a Washington-based advocacy group, recently said that 318 projects totaling 51 gigawatts of solar capacity and 6 gigawatt-hours of attached battery storage are being canceled or delayed as a result.
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