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Solarize Cincy: Expect small hike with tariff

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-25 04:31:32-05

CINCINNATI -- Hamilton County has had more residential solar panel installations than any other county in Ohio. 

Some of that has been spurred on by Solarize Cincy, which does a big competitive bidding campaign each year through the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance. 

But President Donald Trump moved this week to tax imported solar cells. What impact could that have here? Rob McCraken, the director of Solarize Cincy, said a 30 percent tariff would likely hike the price of solar panels by just 5 percent. 

"Because it's such a small increase, I don't think it should have much of an impact," he said. "It may have an impact on really large scale projects, utility scale or really large commercial projects, but I think for the average customer it shouldn't see such a huge increase in pricing."

Locally, Duke Energy just completed three solar power plants in Northern Kentucky. The panels will be generating enough energy to power 1,300 average-sized homes. But Duke officials said future projects planned in other states may be delayed or canceled because of the tariff. 

The next Solarize Cincy campaign begins in March.