Leading U.S. solar tracker providers expand their manufacturing footprint


While many solar panels installed in the United States are imported across the globe, the structures they are mounted on at the utility-scale are most often provided by U.S.-based companies. Nextracker and Array Technologies are two of the largest solar tracker providers, with a strong market share both in the United States and internationally.

The United States installed 32.4 GW of solar in 2023, a 51% increase over 2022. To meet the steadily rising demand, U.S. solar tracker and mount manufacturers are expanding their operations.

In Pittsburgh, a city famous for its steel production, Nextracker has worked with JM Steel since 2022 to produce torque tubes for its solar tracker systems. Now, it has more than doubled its contract manufacturing agreement with JM Steel, expanding its operations to about 4 GW of annual torque tube production.

The facility now features updated manufacturing processes including automated drilling and swedging. The expansion marks the 20 new or expanded manufacturing partner facilities for Nextracker since 2021 and enables the company to provide over 25 GW of solar tracker capacity each year.

“This facility is also expected to produce core components of our new low carbon tracker offering announced this week,” said Dan Shugar, founder and CEO of Nextracker. “The U.S. solar market is continuing to demonstrate strong growth. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has forecasted solar to grow 26% on an annual compounded rate and be the number one source of energy in the U.S. within a decade.”

Also this week, in New Mexico, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm joined Array Technologies at a groundbreaking for a $50 million-plus manufacturing site. The facility is Array’s second in the state and is expected to create over 300 jobs. Array was founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico over three decades ago.

The new 216,000 square foot campus will produce components for Array’s solar tracker solutions. The facility was supported by Inflation Reduction Act tax credits, a $2.5 million economic assistance from the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) and the city and county each provided an additional $250,000 through LEDA funds. Total economic impact between capital investments and job creation is expected to exceed $300 million over the next 10 years.

“This announcement from Array is an example of how smart federal policies can directly benefit states and localities with jobs and economic growth,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and chief executive officer of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “Investments in domestic solar manufacturing like this one are critical for strengthening our nation’s energy security and ensuring our energy future puts people and communities first.”

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