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

    • Shawn Gardner

      How Veterans Can Help Close Indiana's Skills Gap

      Over one million computing and engineering positions will need filled by 2020. It's a staggering statistic; however, with studies predicting only 400,000 computer-related students will graduate by that time, it is more important than ever the technology skills gap is diminished. One way to close this gap is to recruit military veterans to the tech industry. After all, it is the perfect match.

    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

    • (Image of the South Shore Line courtesy of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.)

      South Shore Rail Project Moves Forward

      The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has taken another step toward landing funding for the West Lake Corridor expansion of the South Shore rail line. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the RDA Board of Directors has approved a governance agreement that will allow the Indiana Finance Authority to sell bonds to finance the effort.

    • Cement Maker Details $600M Investment in Mitchell

      The Texas-based owner of a Lawrence County cement supplier has announced a major investment. Lehigh Hanson Inc. says it plans to pump over $600 million into the Lehigh Cement Co. plant in Mitchell and add more than 50 jobs in the next four years. The company says the modernization effort is the largest it has ever launched in North America. It will involve a new plant on the 2,500-acre property where Lehigh Cement Co. began operations 116 years ago. The company expects to...

    • 1st Source Bank is the highest-ranked bank headquartered in Indiana. (photo courtesy 1st Source Bank)

      Forbes Ranks Top Banks, Credit Unions in Indiana

      Forbes has released its inaugural list of the best banks and credit unions in every state. The publication, along with market research firm Statista, surveyed more than 25,000 U.S. customers who rated the banks on criteria such as satisfaction, branch services, and financial advice.

    • Shawn Gardner

      How Veterans Can Help Close Indiana's Skills Gap

      Over one million computing and engineering positions will need filled by 2020. It's a staggering statistic; however, with studies predicting only 400,000 computer-related students will graduate by that time, it is more important than ever the technology skills gap is diminished. One way to close this gap is to recruit military veterans to the tech industry. After all, it is the perfect match.

    • Aussie Tech Company Chooses Indy

      A sales software company from Australia is setting up its first U.S. office in Indianapolis. SalesPond, which has offices in six other countries, says it will invest nearly $500,000 into a downtown location and hire 36 employees by 2023. The company currently has a headcount of 150 in Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and New Zealand. SalesPond plans to have six employees in its Circle Tower building office by year's end. Positions currently available include...