Inovateus CEO: Despite Tariffs, 'Nothing is Going to Stop' Solar

Posted: Updated:
Inovateus Solar has completed multiple projects throughout the state, including this one in New Castle. Inovateus Solar has completed multiple projects throughout the state, including this one in New Castle.
SOUTH BEND -

The chief executive officer of South Bend-based Inovateus Solar LLC says the solar development and engineering company is being "very cautious" while it assesses the full impact of tariffs of up to 30 percent on imported solar products. Mike Pound says he thinks estimates suggesting the industry in the U.S. could shed 25,000-50,000 jobs within a year because of the tariffs are probably accurate. If costs in the industry re-stabilize, Pound believes job levels will bounce back.

Pound tells Inside INdiana Business uncertainty in solar is nothing new. "You know, it's jokingly referred to as the solar coaster, and we have seen ups and downs. We've seen tariffs before and we've seen costs go up and down, so it is a little bit par for course," he said. "But I think where the big effect is going to be is on those kind of smaller installers -- people who have been putting solar into the residential space -- I think there, where there has been this huge growth in jobs and in the smaller projects. I think they're the ones that are going to be impacted to most."

President Trump issued the tariff proclamation Tuesday. The tariffs were recommended by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as a "safeguard" against rising U.S. import levels from countries like China, which the office says have been "a substantial cause of serious injury to the domestic industry."

"It is a crazy thing to do," Pound said about levying the tariffs, "in an industry that is one of the biggest job creators we've got at the moment." He says more than 250,000 American jobs are tied to into solar, many of which involve installation and power grid integration.

Inovateus Solar's focus is primarily in and around the Midwest, but it has installed solar or served as a supplier to projects throughout the U.S., Australia, Chile, China, Fiji, Iceland, Italy, Liberia, Panama, and Caribbean nations.

In spite of tariffs, Pound expects pain felt by the industry to be temporary as the price of technology continues to fall. "I honestly believe nothing is going to stop it. It's a great way to produce electricity and bring prices down."

South Bend-based Inovateus Solar LLC Chief Executive Officer Mike Pound tells Inside INdiana Business uncertainty in solar is nothing new.
  • Perspectives

    • Indiana's Workforce is Mission: Critical

      Indiana is ranked the #10 Best Place to Do Business, #4 for Quality of Life, #1 for Regulatory Environment and #2 for Software Job Growth. Indianapolis is ranked #3 for Tech Jobs for Women. We have four of the top 25 Best Places to live in America, with my hometown of Fishers topping the list. Yet, in spite of these amazing rankings, we have some serious challenges to overcome within our economic development ecosystem, not the least of which is skilling up a workforce to meet demand.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • 'Best Places' in Indiana Reaches Record

      The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has released the 2018 list of Best Places to Work in Indiana. A record 125 companies are being honored this year and more than 50 are first-timers or returning after a year or more off the list. Employers in over two dozen communities are represented and the chamber will unveil the rankings of the Best Places honorees during a May 3 awards dinner at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

    • Cook Details Major Realignment

      The president of Bloomington-based Cook Medical says changes to the company's organizational structure will drive more rapid technology innovation and continued growth. Cook is restructuring from 10 business units to two divisions, a move that will impact sales, marketing, research and development, and customer service teams. It will also establishing new distribution channel management and medical education teams. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Pete Yonkman said...

    • Indiana's Workforce is Mission: Critical

      Indiana is ranked the #10 Best Place to Do Business, #4 for Quality of Life, #1 for Regulatory Environment and #2 for Software Job Growth. Indianapolis is ranked #3 for Tech Jobs for Women. We have four of the top 25 Best Places to live in America, with my hometown of Fishers topping the list. Yet, in spite of these amazing rankings, we have some serious challenges to overcome within our economic development ecosystem, not the least of which is skilling up a workforce to meet demand.

    • Vectren Planning Nearly $1B in Natural Gas, Solar Projects

      Evansville-based Vectren Corp. (VVC) has announced plans for two major projects in southwest Indiana. The utility says the efforts, which include a $900 million natural gas-fired generation plant, will reduce its carbon emissions by 60 percent over 2005 levels. Vectren is also planning to install a 50-megawatt solar array that will include more than 150,000 solar panels covering nearly 300 acres. A specific location for the array was not announced. The plans are part of Vectren's...

    • Cummins to Design Combat Engines That Elude the Enemy

      The monstrous, larger-than-life military tanks of tomorrow could be powered by Hoosier ingenuity. A recent $47 million defense contract delivers marching orders for Columbus-based Cummins Inc.: develop the next-generation engine to power U.S. combat vehicles, and it must be stronger, but smaller, and elusive to enemies’ efforts to spot it.