Nextracker in pact with JM Steel to manufacture tracker for solar plants

JM Steel on Nextracker dedicated production line

Nextracker and JM Steel, a division of JENNMAR USA, announced a dedicated solar tracker production line on the campus of the new Steel Dynamics (SDI) facility near Corpus Christi.

Nextracker launched a new facility with JM Steel to manufacture low-carbon tracker components for solar power plants throughout the southern United States.

“US steel manufacturers like Steel Dynamics Incorporated (SDI) have a much cleaner, lower carbon production processes than most overseas manufacturers. With JM Steel, we are collocated next to SDI Sinton, the newest steel mill in America, lowering cost and improving sustainability by integrating key manufacturing activities on a single campus,” said Dan Shugar, Founder and CEO of Nextracker.

A dependable steel supply is central to utility-scale solar, which is the lowest cost form of energy in many locations. Nextracker made the strategic decision to focus on manufacturing in the United States.

IHS Markit Insight report recently found that steel procurement and manufacturing location will be a key concern for tracker suppliers as they contend with growing local content requirements among global markets and volatile shipping freight costs.

Last year, Texas overtook California as the top-ranked state for solar capacity additions adding 6.6 gigawatts (GW) of solar with an additional 23 GW expected by 2023.

“JM Steel’s proximity to SDI will provide Nextracker and their customers cost-effective products with quick response times to feed the growing solar market in Texas and the South,” said Tony Calandra, CEO of JM Steel and JENNMAR USA.

The Nextracker production will support about 50 new local direct jobs and provide multi-GW of solar tracker capacity annually. Solar trackers have become the best way to build utility-scale solar power plants globally typically increasing energy production by 20-30 percent more than fixed-tilt applications that do not track the sun.