Mission Solar Energy to supply PetersenDean with solar panels

Yesterday Mission Solar Energy announced that it will be supplying its PERC 60-cell PV modules which it assembles in San Antonio, Texas to PetersenDean Roofing & Solar, which touts itself as the nation’s largest private roofing contractor. According to a press release, Mission will supply 2-4 MW of modules per month to the company.

PetersenDean estimates that it installs roughly 2,000 PV and roof systems per month across the United States. However this appears to be mostly roofs, as GTM Research’s U.S. PV Leaderboard put the company at 30 MW of solar installed in 2016, and only 13 MW in the first half of 2017.

According to these figures, Mission Solar Energy’s 2-4 MW per month would represent PetersenDean’s total PV module supply, and suggests that the number will typically be closer to 2 than 4. This also raises questions about what has happened to PetersenDean’s relationship with SolarWorld, which the company touted in the summer of 2016 at a SolarWorld installer conference.

It is a significant boost for Mission Solar Energy, which closed its cell lines at the San Antonio factory a year ago. If Mission supplies 30 MW of modules to PetersenDean annually, this will make up around 12% of the total capacity of its 250 MW module plant.

However, Mission Solar Energy may be facing an uphill battle. The recent Section 201 investigation under which the International Trade Commission found damages is focused on cells, not modules, and upon closing its cell lines Mission stated that it would be sourcing cells from Asia.

If the Trump Administration adopts Suniva’s proposed trade remedies, that will mean a $0.40 per watt tariff in the first year on imported cells, more than doubling their price. And unless Mission has already or can switch its source of cells to the very limited supply available from the United States and possibly Canada, it could quickly find that the cost of inputs will make its modules unaffordable.