Bloomberg released its Q1, 2016 report recently which showed the changes in brands who are recognized as Tier 1.
You can find the list further down below for the Panel Manufacturer's, who made the Tier 1 rating list.
However if you wish to find out more about what the Tier System is and how they are rated to meet Tier 1, keep reading below.
What is the Tier System, you ask?
Bloomberg New Energy Finance PV Module Maker Tiering System
Bloomberg New Energy Finance has developed a tiering system for PV module makers based on bankability, to create a transparent differentiation between the hundreds of manufacturers of solar modules on the market. Since this basic categorisation has been used as an advertisement by certain manufacturers, but should never replace a proper due diligence process in product selection, this document explains the tiering criteria and its limitations.
1. WHY DIVIDE THE PV MARKET INTO TIERS?
Bloomberg New Energy Finance is frequently requested by clients for a list of 'major' or 'bankable' suppliers - in common industry parlance, tier 1 suppliers - for use in manufacturing forecasts, preliminary competitor analysis, and other internal comparisons. It is very common for industry players to refer to 'tier 1' players, but these terms are seldom defined or described, which is unhelpful for firms outside the solar industry trying to get a basic overview. 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 OST Energy, Sgurr Energy, DNV GL, Black & Veatch, TUV, E3, STS Certified, Clean Energy Associates 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.
'Bankability' - whether projects using the solar products are likely to be offered non-recourse debt financing by banks - is the key criterion for tiering. Banks, and their technical due diligence providers, are extremely unwilling to disclose their whitelists of acceptable products. Bloomberg New Energy Finance therefore bases its criteria in what deals have been closed in the past, as tracked by our database -13,800 photovoltaic financings worldwide as of January 2016. We reserve the right to change these criteria at any time - particularly by requiring more information to consider a manufacturer tier 1. These tiers will be reviewed every quarter based on information added to Bloomberg New Energy Finance's database. Only project financings for over 1.5MW of capacity are included in the database. Portfolio financings count for tiering only for projects with defined locations, and where the debt is secured on all the assets together, ie, if one project in the portfolio underperforms the bank has a claim on the rest of the portfolio. We only tier manufacturers which actually own production facilities and sell under their own brands. Companies which outsource production under brand names are not tiered.
3. TIER 1
Tier 1 module manufacturers are those which have provided own-brand, own-manufacture products to five different projects, which have been financed non-recourse by five different (non development) banks, in the past two years.
These 1.5MW+ deals must be tracked by our database, ie the project location (sufficiently to identify the project uniquely), capacity, developer, bank and module maker must be in the public domain. One exception is manufacturers which have filed for bankruptcy or a form of insolvency protection, or experienced a major default on bond payments; these are removed from the tier 1 list until further notice. This classification is purely a measure of industry acceptance, and there are many documented examples of quality issues or bankruptcy of tier 1 manufacturers.
3.1. Tier 2
We do not publish a tier 2 list.
3.2. Tier 3
We do not publish a tier 3 list.
(This is sourced from http://about.bnef.com/content/uploads/sites/4/2012/12/bnef_2012-12-03_PVModuleTiering.pdf)
At Driftwind Electrical, we prefer our customers have as much information available to them to make an informed decision before purchasing a solar system. As you can see on our products page, http://www.driftwind.com.au/panels.html Driftwind Electrical recommend many of the Tier 1 panels that are listed in Bloomberg's List below and as advised earlier, this classification is purely a measure of industry acceptance, and there are many documented examples of quality issues or bankruptcy of tier 1 manufacturers. However we also highly recommend Lightway Panels, which do not have a Tier 1 rating but have proven to be a reputable PV Module Manufacturer and you can read further information on the Tiering system here http://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/what-is-a-tier-1-solar-panel-tier-2-or-3/
Below is the list for the 2016 PV Module Manufacturer's who made the Tier 1 Rating.