NextEra sees no financial impact from U.S. solar import investigation

The Department of Commerce building is seen in Washington, DC

(Reuters) – NextEra Energy Inc, the world’s biggest renewable energy company, said on Tuesday it was disappointed with the U.S. Commerce Department’s decision to open an investigation into solar panel imports from some Southeast Asian countries.

NextEra, however, said the department’s decision did not affect the company’s long-term financial expectations.

U.S. trade officials on Monday said they would launch an investigation that could result in tariffs on solar panels imported from four Southeast Asian nations, a blow to clean energy project developers, like NextEra, that rely on cheap imports to keep costs down.

The Commerce Department’s decision regarding imports from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia was a victory for Auxin Solar. The San Jose, California-based solar manufacturer this year requested the probe, arguing that Chinese manufacturers shifted production to those nations to avoid paying U.S. duties in place for nearly a decade on Chinese-made solar goods.

“We are disappointed with the Commerce Department’s decision to grant Auxin’s request to investigate as we believe it has no merit,” NextEra Chief Executive John Ketchum said in a statement.

“However, we are optimistic the investigation will be resolved favorably and that no additional antidumping and countervailing duties tariffs will be put in place,” Ketchum said.

But, he said “some of NextEra’s solar and storage projects may be adversely impacted by the disruption this decision is expected to cause.”

For 2022, NextEra continues to expect adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $2.75 to $2.85.

For 2023 through 2025, NextEra expects to grow roughly 6% to 8% per year off the expected 2022 adjusted earnings per share.

“We will be disappointed if we are not able to deliver financial results at or near the top end of our adjusted earnings per share expectations ranges in each of 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025,” Ketchum said.

(Reporting By Scott DiSavino; editing by Jonathan Oatis)