February 28, 2018, by Christopher Martin
Enphase Energy Inc. doesn’t make solar panels, but it’s still seeking an exemption from tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump.
That’s because the Petaluma, California-based company makes components in the U.S. called microinverters that convert energy produced by photovoltaic panels from direct to alternating current. The problem is Enphase ships these mobile-phone sized devices to manufacturers in Asia to attach to panels before they’re sold in the U.S. That makes them subject to duties, and that’s why Enphase hired a lobbyist this month.
Enphase joins SunPower Corp., the second-largest U.S. panel maker, in pleading for an exception to the 30 percent tariff. First Solar Inc., the largest U.S. panel-manufacturer, is already exempt because it’s thin-film technology differs from the material used by most companies in Asia.
Enphase soared as much as 24 percent Wednesday to $3.45 after the company reported its first quarterly profit on an adjusted basis since 2015.