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Response to ITC Remedy: Continuing to Meet Demand for Clean, Affordable Energy

January 22, 2018

By Scott Spangler and Matthew Crosby

Today, President Trump announced his remedy decision in the Section 201 Trade Case. While we are disappointed in the decision, this fight is not over. Coronal Energy will continue to work for the best possible outcome for the industry and our planet.

We stand with our partners in the industry—notably SEIA and ACORE—whose efforts in this fight have galvanized the renewables sector and strengthened our commitment to deliver clean energy to the grid to meet the ever-increasing demand for affordable solar for our utility customers.

Coronal Energy began preparing for this potential decision in May 2017, when Suniva filed its initial petition to the US International Trade Commission. We believe the President’s decision today will likely cause some unfortunate short-term turmoil, but we also believe strongly that the U.S. market will continue to demand clean, affordable renewable energy. In fact, according to an October 2017 report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the voluntary green power market—which goes above and beyond base requirements such as those set forth in state renewable portfolio standards—now accounts for 28% of all U.S. renewable energy sales, excluding hydro. It saw a 45% bump in number of customers and 19% bump in renewables sales over the prior year. The market is speaking loudly in favor of cost-effective renewable energy.

Further, we live in a global economy. International precedent suggests the President’s announcement will not be the final word. International responses on exports and other imported goods prized by American consumers could pressure tariff mitigation.

Coronal Energy’s market is here in the United States, where we do important work for our utility and corporate partners who are committed to delivering value to their customers. That work continues every day.

In our view, two realities emerge as we digest the remedy imposed by the President:

1. The decision places greater emphasis on sound policymaking at the state level designed to bolster economic development and reduce the impact of electricity generation on the climate. States commissions authorize investor-owned utility capital expenditures to ensure reliability of transmission and distribution systems, and authorize resource plans that set the supply mix. Therefore states, rather than the federal government, ultimately decide how much solar energy regulated utilities should procure.

2. Utilities, joined by Fortune 500 companies, will continue to procure solar. These large energy users benefit from the long-term, fixed-price PPAs that have become the standard for the industry. Contract terms typically ranging between 15-25 years are one of the few major procurement decisions that users can count on to hedge against other fluctuating commodity prices (e.g., natural gas).

Coronal Energy has a robust, multi-gigawatt solar development pipeline in the United States and has commissioned several hundred megawatts over the last two years alone. Our growth over the past 24 months can be attributed to high demand for affordable, renewable energy, favorable financial markets, free trade and – importantly - our ability to deliver for the world’s largest utilities. In a post-201 trade case climate, we will continue to make long-term investments in solar and to do the important work of delivering value to our customers, investment partners, and the American ratepayers and voters who in 2018 and beyond will continue to demand clean, green, affordable energy.

Scott Spangler is Vice President of Procurement for Coronal Energy and Matthew Crosby is Director of Policy

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