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SolarWorld: bankruptcy status, trade case, and warranties

SolarWorld Industries GmbH (formerly SolarWorld AG) is a major player in the solar panel manufacturing space, and the company has had a year full of change. After it declared insolvency earlier this year and went through a reorganization and acquisition process, the company joined manufacturer Suniva to petition the government for tariffs against imported solar panels. Now, you may be wondering how SolarWorld’s financial standing impacts the coverage on their solar modules. In this article, we will look back at SolarWorld’s turbulent year and where they stand now, and we’ll examine their updated warranty offerings and consumer protections.

Which SolarWorld are we talking about?

“SolarWorld” can refer to a few different organizations. To understand how SolarWorld’s financial issues impact you, is important to recognize the difference between the different parts of the SolarWorld business:

SolarWorld Industries GmbH is a new name for the original SolarWorld parent company, SolarWorld AG. When the company declared insolvency, Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) and the original founder of SolarWorld AG, Frank Asbeck, acquired most of the company’s assets and reorganized under the new name SolarWorld Industries GmbH.

An important omission from the reorganization of SolarWorld AG is SolarWorld Americas, which is based in Hillsboro, Oregon, where it operates the largest crystalline silicon solar factory in the Western Hemisphere. SolarWorld Americas is currently for sale as part of efforts to resolve its parent company’s debts.

SolarWorld Americas is also acting as a separate entity from SolarWorld Industries GmbH. SolarWorld Americas – not the German SolarWorld entity – is the company that is aligned with Suniva and First Solar in the current solar panel trade case, which asks President Trump to levy trade tariffs on foreign-made solar panels. For all intents and purposes, SolarWorld Americas is currently operating separately from SolarWorld Industries GmbH. As of November 2017 it has not been sold.

What is SolarWorld’s current company status?

SolarWorld Americas is in a stable position. As of November, the company is beginning to increase hiring and production as a response to the recent decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission to recommend tariffs against imported solar panels.

How did SolarWorld get to this point? Here’s a brief overview of the events that brought the company to where they are now.

With renewed confidence in the American solar panel industry, SolarWorld Americas has reinvested in their Oregon headquarters and looks to continue to support their manufacturing efforts.

SolarWorld warranties offer third-party protection

Many EnergySage solar shoppers have asked how everything SolarWorld has been going through could impact their solar warranty coverage. Simply put, you don’t need to worry about not having coverage for your SolarWorld panels if something were to go wrong. Additionally, installing a new system with SolarWorld panels has no extra risk attached to it.

The reason that SolarWorld solar panels remain a low-risk investment is due to their new warranty policies that offer long-term coverage. SolarWorld’s updated Assurance Warranty Protection Program offers two types of protection depending on when you installed your solar panels. If you installed SolarWorld solar panels between 2012 and 2016, you are covered by the Extend Warranty plan, which extends the standard product workmanship warranty to 25 years for a low, one-time fee. For new solar customers who install SolarWorld solar panels in 2017 or later, you are automatically covered by the Dual Warranty plan, which also offers 25 years of coverage.

Both warranty models are third-party backed, which means that even if SolarWorld cannot support your original coverage, your panels will still be under warranty. This third-party backing makes purchasing SolarWorld solar panels a low-risk option, even considering the up-and-down year SolarWorld has seen.

Compare solar quotes from reputable companies

On the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, you can solicit quotes solar projects from qualified, pre-vetted installers in your area. If you have a question, concern, or preference around solar panel make, you can leave a note on your profile outlining your question, and installers will know that you want more information about specific product offerings. Installers on the EnergySage marketplace provide quotes with all types of solar panels, inverters, and racking systems, and comparing quotes side by side is the best way to make sure you are getting the best package deal for your solar project.


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