The commissioning of a manufacturing facility in Memphis underscores the Tennessee Valley’s growth as a regional manufacturing hub for the Southeast, as well as Nextracker’s commitment to use low-carbon, U.S.-made steel components in its solar tracker systems.
The Memphis facility, announced by Nextracker and MSS Steel Tubes USA, will manufacture Nextracker low-carbon steel components, create 129 jobs and generate millions of dollars in local investment, Nextracker reports. Portuguese industrial company Metalogalva Group and Brazilian steelmaker Soufer Group formed MSS Steel Tubes USA to reconfigure a vacant industrial building to manufacture for Nextracker.
“We chose Memphis for our first U.S. plant to support Nextracker’s utility-scale solar demand across the Southeast,” said António Pedro Antunes, CEO of Metalogalva Group. “Memphis has the transportation, infrastructure, and capable workforce necessary to support a solar manufacturing program like this.”
Nextracker’s dedicated tube mill will support Silicon Ranch’s projects in Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, and Georgia. Last year Nextracker and Silicon Ranch announced a 1.5 GW supply agreement, and the two companies are now announcing an additional 3 GW agreement.
The two companies share a commitment to increase domestic supply and to implement lower-carbon production processes. The emphasis on securing American-made products enables the companies to support U.S. manufacturing and job creation, improve the carbon footprint of its supply chain, and reduce volatility and logistics risks.
Products produced by this facility are also expected to qualify for the 10% adder under the new IRS guidelines that state that steel products must be 100% U.S.-made. Nextracker indicated that the facility will be using 100% green, American-made EAF steel by the end of this year. EAF steel is made in electric arc furnaces, a “next-generation” process for steel fabrication, which can lead to electric arc furnace facilities being up to 75% less carbon-intensive than traditional blast furnaces.
“Nextracker’s new Tennessee tube mill not only helps us maintain our 100% track record for successful project delivery but also enables us to support additional investments in American manufacturing while lowering carbon production processes of our supply chain, and reducing volatility and logistics risks, all from our home state,” said Reagan Farr, co-founder and CEO of Silicon Ranch.
“This is what energy security looks like: New U.S. manufacturing jobs using American-made steel to produce affordable clean energy,” said Dan Shugar, Founder and CEO of Nextracker. “Customers want domestic, low-carbon technologies like solar power. We are excited to inaugurate a new dedicated Nextracker manufacturing line in Memphis with MSS Steel Tubes USA, and to continue to team with Silicon Ranch with a new 3 GW multi-year agreement to provide the Tennessee Valley and greater Southeast with our high performing systems.”
Nextracker and MSS Steel Tubes reently dedicated the steel tube line in partnership with Silicon Ranch. The event was attended by Tennessee Commissioner of Economic Development, Stuart McWhorter, Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and David Burritt, CEO of U.S. Steel.
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