US solar would be fine without ITC, says tracker supplier Array

Array Technologies, the largest supplier of tracking systems to the US solar market, believes the election of Donald Trump will not derail the domestic PV market, even if the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) were dismantled.

“I’m optimistic that the election will not have any major impact on the trajectory [of the market] one way or the other,” Robert Bellemare, chief financial officer at Array Technologies, tells Recharge.

Bellemare says he has not heard any credible reports indicating that the incoming Trump administration or Congress will look to take an axe to the solar ITC, which received a multi-year extension at the end of 2015.

New Mexico-based Array commanded a leading 30% share of the US market for PV tracking systems in 2015, edging rivals NEXTracker and First Solar, according to GTM Research. The US tracker market has grown rapidly in recent years as the utility-scale solar sector has matured, and is expected to be worth $1.4bn this year.

Even if the ITC were scrapped or watered down, the US solar market would remain healthy, Bellemare believes.

“I’m not saying there wouldn’t be an effect,” he says. “It could cause a pause in the market as people adjust; you’d have to change the way you finance.”

“Obviously your preference is to keep the ITC – the tax credit makes it a no-brainer.”

“But I do think solar would still make sense without it, it’s just how you’d go about financing projects that would change,” he says.

“The overall trajectory would still be very positively high. I think solar competes really well, with or without the tax credit.”