Array Technologies to secure domestically made steel from new mill in Texas  


Array Technologies, a U.S.-based provider of trackers for utility-scale solar energy projects, entered into an agreement with Lock Joint Tube, a manufacturer of mechanical and structural-grade steel tubing, to secure supply from a new steel mill in Texas. Lock Joint Tube is a supplier of steel tubing for solar panels and also provides torque tubing for tracker systems or solar tracker tube. The mill is dedicated to manufacturing utility-scale solar tubing. 

Lock Joint Tube is headquartered in Temple, Texas, also the location of the new mill. Using locally sourced steel in the production of solar tubing is in response to domestic content requirements in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Lock Joint Tube also produces steel tubing for Array at a torque tube mill in South Bend, Indiana.   

“Lock Joint Tube’s newest mill will provide Array with domestic tubing under the IRA, which our customers are demanding in this high-growth market for utility-scale solar,” said Kevin Hostetler, chief executive officer at Array Technologies. “This investment in American manufacturing will provide jobs aligned with the renewable energy market to the local community, boost the integrity of the domestic solar supply chain, and support Array’s continued expansion in the U.S., including in Texas and throughout the central U.S.” 

Partnering with established steel suppliers enables Array to secure products on a regional basis to its customers and mitigate supply chain challenges. Array was one manufacturer serving the solar market that released strong guidance in Q4 2022, a time when others in the industry were struggling with supply chain issues.

ROTH Capital Partners noted that the strong guidance may have been a result of a strong relationship between Array Technologies and First Solar, a U.S.-based manufacturer of thin-film CdTe solar panels. ROTH speculated that Array may be paired with a majority or a substantial amount of the 9 GW module delivery that was expected from First Solar last year.

According to Array, its collaboration with Lock Joint Tube will create new manufacturing jobs and use automation technology for optimal efficiency in production.  

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