ET Solar to work with EC on MIP compliance

Different strategies are emerging from the three Chinese suppliers that the EC has determined have breached the minimum import price (MIP) agreement struck between the European Union and China regarding module imports. ReneSola indicated today that it would withdraw from the MIP framework.

The EC delivered an initial determination on Thursday March 5 in which it states that ET Solar breached the MIP agreement through selling modules as a complete power plant solution, therefore allowing for module sales volumes to exceed those stipulated under the MIP agreement. It also cited module shipment volume discrepancies between what was reported by ET Solar and those the EC itself tracked. The third component points to the high potential for “cross-compensation” when modules are bundled with other components and services in a PV power plant.

ET Solar provided pv magazine with a statement today in which it states that it will work with the EC in a “clarification and reconciliation” process that it believes will rectify the matter. ET says that it believes its business in Europe “will not be negatively affected by this matter.”

The company reports that it “has long been a leading downstream solution provider that sells solar parks to the third party investor both in Europe and elsewhere in the world.” ET says that it sources modules for these installations from its own production activities and from various other suppliers.

In the disclosure document in which it set out its MIP breach conclusions, the European Directorate General for Trade said that the modules ET Solar supplied as a complete solar park solution were not listed in its quarterly reporting, as required under the MIP framework.

The EC also concluded that as a PV park is sold as “a bundle of goods and services” it constitutes “a parallel sale of the products covered [by the MIP] and the products and services not covered [by the MIP].” Because of this, the EC concluded that the sales volume “exceeded substantially the marginal percentage limit of total sales to the customers authorized by the [MIP] undertaking.” The EC additionally noted that there exists “a high risk of cross-compensation” when modules covered by the MIP and other components and services not covered by the MIP, such as inverters or mounting structures and EPC and O&M services, were bundled together under one sales price.

ET Solar says it has “been very strict and consistent in following the rules under the [MIP] Agreement and are very confident that we will be able to address the EC’s concerns.” In contrast to the position ReneSola finds itself, the EC did not single out its OEM manufacturing arrangements as constituting a breach of the MIP agreement.