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Tier-1 solar panel manufacturer list 2024—includes myths & facts

Shopping for a solar panel by the manufacturer alone is quite like shopping for a car by the manufacturer alone (Toyota, Ford, Tesla, VW, etc.). The differences between models can often be enormous. Nevertheless, questionable marketing tactics exist from more localised vendors that would have you believe the term ‘Tier-1’ is all you need to know when choosing the ideal solar module.


Not to discredit respected module manufacturer tiering systems such as the BloombergNEF Tier 1 PV Module Maker List or the PV Moduletech Bankability Reportas these reports have their place towards fundamental decision-making elements. Such a place, however, is reserved for those seeking specific manufacturer financial qualifications, usually the likes of financiers, when investing in ultra-large or utility-scale solar projects. Research criteria deemed a fraction of the overall project feasibility. 

Module manufacturer tiering reports may be more relevant to a component of the product qualification assessment—bankability of guarantee. As such, this is an instance where a project developer for a large-scale project would use a particular module manufacturer tiering report.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Tier-1 Solar Module Maker List

After misuse by marketers and rising pressure to improve clarity surrounding the term ‘Tier-1’, Bloomberg New Energy Finance inserted the following statement within the application to subscribe to the BloombergNEF Tier 1 PV Module Maker List: 

BNEF Statement

“We strongly recommend that module purchasers and banks do not use this list as a measure of quality, but instead consult a technical due diligence firm such as Edif ERA (formerly OST Energy), Wood PIc, PVEL, RETC LLC, Black &Veatch, TUV, E3, ATA Renewables, STS Certified, Clean Energy Associates (now part of Intertek), Pl Berlin, Pbuyer, Enertis, Oravia or Leidos Engineering. These would usually consider what factory the module comes from, as well as the brand, and give an informed opinion on whether the modules will perform as expected.”

Potentially an arduous task for smaller project developers and module purchasers. In such an instance, PSW Energy’s Product Qualification Assessment Criteria (solar modules) consider internally nominated bankability tiering reports plus due diligence firm verifications as part of the overall criteria towards individual product ranking analysis.

Recommended: If you would like a copy of the latest BloombergNEF Tier-1 PV Module Maker List to assess a manufacturer’s bankability, you’ll need to subscribe to Bloomberg Professional Services. Another excellent reporting platform for assessing manufacturer bankability is the PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings Quarterly report. Respectfully, neither is free, and a subscription is required to access the complete information. Both include, business critical information to assist large scale investment decisions. BloombergNEF includes shipment volume details of BNEF Tier-1 module makers for a nominated period. PV ModuleTech includes a pyramid tiering report of bankability scales such as AAA, A, BBB, B, CCC, C.

2024: Tier-1 solar module manufacturer list

Solar module manufacturers classified as Tier-1 on various recognised international publications are compiled from publicly available internet sources, centralised for reader convenience, and used for ranking purposes towards PSW Energy Product Qualification criteria. It is recommended solar module purchasers subscribe to trusted sources such as Bloomberg NEF or PV Moduletech to assist in determining manufacturer bankability for projects. 

This list is published to assist customers in identifying PSW Energy’s comprehensive due diligence towards product qualification assurance while drawing attention to the frequent quarterly fluctuations that occur when measuring bankability alone. Tiering lists are a manufacturer bankability measure for a nominated period only. This information should not be used as a substitute for a manufacturer’s bankability report. 

List A

Alphabetical order of brands that meet PSW Energy product qualification and bankability criteria. These products are available brands within the PSW Shop. List A plots their presence on global bankability reports.

Brand Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
Canadian Solar
REC Group
Risen Energy
Trina Solar
List B

Alphabetical order of ‘all other’ module manufacturers from various Tier-1 labelling sources available on internet search and listings (2024).

Module Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
AE Solar
Anhui Daheng (DAH Solar)
AU Optronics
Beyond Sun
Das Solar
EGing PV
Elite Solar
Enel Group
ET Solar Inc
Exiom Group
First Solar
GCL System
Green Wing
Hansol Technics
Imperial Star Jakson
JA Solar
Leapton Energy
Luxen Solar
Meyer Burger
Mission Solar
Neo Solar Power / URE
New East
Philadephia Solar
Phono Solar
Premier Energies
Renesola Yixing
SPI Energy
Sunova Solar
Sunpower/ Maxeon
Sunpro Power / YH Sunpro
Tata Power
Ulica Solar
VSUN Solar
Reveal full list

Poll: Which module brand are you researching?

Intrigued by public opinion? It takes one second to anonymously discover the most popular Tier 1 and credible non-Tier-1 listed solar module brands like-minded people are researching:

TOP 30: Which solar module brand are you researching?

Safe select with PSW Polls

Myths & facts: Tier 1 solar panels

For the purpose of internet indexing of common user search terms, we’ve used the term Tier-1 solar panels. Although technically incorrect, the aim of the article is to educate module purchasers that Tier-1 qualification is only a fraction of the considered bankability criteria towards determining selected project feasability.

1. There is no such thing as a Tier-1 solar panel

TRUE: Only Tier-1 module manufacturers exist per the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Report or the PV Moduletech Bankability Ratings Quarterly Report. Other Tier-1 lists may also be identified. 

2. Manufacturers not present on a Tier-1 report are inferior

FALSE: Some of the most innovative or respected module manufacturers globally aren’t on module tiering reports. PSW research data reveals some of the most robust specifications by manufacturers not listed on reports, such as BloombergNEF or PV Moduletech. Innovative technologies such as PanasonicSolariaWinaicoSolarwattMeyer Burger, Peimar, Tindo, Aleo and Tesla possess an outstanding industry reputation yet may not compete in markets requiring additional Tier-1 module manufacturer recognition workload/submissions.

3. The term Tier-1 is a measure of quality

FALSE: The term Tier-1 in solar energy is used for gauging manufacturer bankability within a nominated period, predominantly for large-scale projects.

4. Tier-1 qualification is a label that will stay with a module for life

FALSE: A manufacturers ability to qualify for Tier-1 status exists for a nominated quarter. It is not an endorsement or certification that will accompany a particular module throughout its existence.

5. Be wary of advertisers promoting Tier-1 solar panels

TRUE: The astute investor in you now knows that there are no such modules as Tier-1 solar panels. Only Tier-1 solar module manufacturers exist, with little bearing on the overall product integrity. These are often advertisers exploiting a consumers lack of knowledge with a misleading sales style.

6. Using a module manufacturer tiering report to assist financial qualification for specific projects has merit

TRUE: Module manufacturer tiering reports provide purchasers with a financial and volume insight of selected module manufacturers to financiers seeking to fund large-scale projects. However, this is only a fraction of the consideration towards any project. If you are a large-scale project developer or financier, it is recommended to obtain a quarterly report from a respected provider such as Bloomberg NEF or PV Moduletech.

7. This Tier-1 Solar List should be used as a measure of quality

FALSE: PSW Knowledge Share content accumulates and comments on available industry data purchasers seek, assembling this information to improve research, knowledge, and education.

Answering the question “is it a Tier-1 solar panel?” covers a broad scope of manufacturers in 2024. However, Tier-1 solar module manufacturer qualification is only a part of the question energy investors and financiers consider. Should a company not be on a nominated Tier-1 list, bankability research is still available, with a little extra leg work required. Or perhaps the qualifying for Tier-1 recognition is irrelevant to the manufacturers product line, such as large scale module designs.

If however you exist in the Perth and or Bunbury region of Western Australia, we’ve made the determining of credible Tier-1 and non-Tier-1 module makers that we’re prepared to bank our name on over the intended warranty period. A more locally refined scale, determine the Best solar deals in Perth & Bunbury region WA to satisfy your budget with our Top 3 options in each purchasing section of; Most Affordable, Mid-Range and Premium module maker categories.

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