Nevados Engineering, Inc., a Calif.-based solar tracker company, signed a strategic partnership and long-term agreement to supply its integrated technology platform of all-terrain solar trackers and energy optimization software to Ampliform, a U.S.-based solar project developer, operator and asset owner.
Ampliform was formed in 2022 when Pennsylvania-based Prospect14 formed a joint venture with with a group of energy investors and operators with expertise in power generation and quantitative trading. The company is backed by investors which include the Jones Family Office, Barings, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and others.
The company is installing the Nevados platform across its entire U.S. tracker portfolio, across a near-term project pipeline of 700 MW construction taking place between 2023 and 2025 and a long-term development pipeline of 2 GW.
“We selected Nevados because their all-terrain solar tracker eliminates the need for costly, risky and destructive mass grading for every site in our portfolio – and their team is a pleasure to work with,” said Robert Stoever, senior vice president, EPC of Ampliform. “Partnering with Nevados will make our solar investments more profitable while preserving the natural vegetation and topography of the land.”
Nevados will initially supply 48 MW of all-terrain trackers for two Ampliform projects currently under construction in Pennsylvania. Nevados will provide performance optimization with their TRACE software and full-service project management, design optimization, and engineering support for all Ampliform projects regardless of size, which the company says is standard for all of its agreements.
“We are thrilled to support Ampliform because our product is a perfect match for their hilly portfolio,” said Yezin Taha, chief executive officer of Nevados. “Yet the benefits of Nevados’ technology and partner-centric business model go beyond the challenges of uneven terrain. Our integrated solar tracking platform will create new project opportunities for Ampliform by reducing their civil engineering and construction costs and improving system performance one row at a time.”
Nevados says its solar tracking platform is engineered to eliminate site grading in projects with uneven terrain, thus avoiding time and cost-intensive permitting, construction, and revegetation steps, and dramatically accelerates project schedules. The proprietary design sets Nevados trackers apart from its competitors, with bearings that the company says allow for installation on slopes up to 37% with slope changes as great as 26% across a foundation.
Nevados reports that row-specific tracking algorithms, controls and tilt schedules improve energy yield in projects at a granular level. Gaps in bearings also improve bifacial gains, the company claims.
Other unique design aspects include non-continuous torque tubes, shorter pilings and large tolerances, all of which simplify and speed up the installation, according to Nevados. Top-clamp clips also reportedly help solar modules to align during installation, and accommodate different module sizes. The torque tube and damper designs improve wind performance and, as Jenya Meydbray, chief commercial officer at Nevados told pv magazine USA, have proven to withstand hurricane-force winds with zero structural damage.
Nevados is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by institutional capital. In this op-ed published in 2019, Yezin Taha describes all-terrain tracking and explains how it is a potentially superior solution for sites with sloped terrain.
Nevados will be exhibiting at Intersolar North America next week, Feb. 14-16, in Long Beach, Calif., where its team will be located at Booth#19.
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