Are Tier 1 panels good quality?
The tier system was developed by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) to differentiate between the 100s of solar panel manufacturers on the market.
This system is based on the manufacturers’ bankability (the willingness of banks to finance solar projects supplied by the manufacturer).
Tier 1 means that they have provided own-brand, own-manufactured products to six different projects (1.5MW+), each financed by a different bank, in the past two years.
Unfortunately, this tiering system has no relationship to build panel quality or financial viability of the panel manufacturer.
In the words of Bloomberg New Energy Finance
“We strongly recommend that module purchasers and banks do not use the Tier 1 list as a measure of quality, but instead consult a technical due diligence firm.”
As you can see, there is no direct link between Tier 1 panels and quality, performance, warranty, local customer support, reliability or any other indicator relating to long-term customer outcomes .
Therefore, it is important to choose a product based on the manufacturer’s reputation as well as local service and support.
Only manufacturers with long term financial stability and a strong ongoing presence in Australia will be there to support any future long term warranty claims.
The Tier 1 label is wrongly used in the marketplace as a means to promote quality assurance of the solar modules that retailers and manufacturers want to sell. The truth is, the Tier 1 status only relates to a loosely defined bankability score.