From PowerLight to NEXTracker, Our European Solar Roots Run Deep

By on November 2, 2017

Greetings from NEXTracker’s European headquarters in Sevilla, Spain. Some of you reading this may be surprised to learn that NEXTracker has deep roots and experience in the European solar market, so I’d like to introduce you to all our activities and services based here.

Our history in Europe began in 2003 with Dan Shugar, Tyroan Hardy, Marco Garcia, Marco Miller and many of our current employees who worked for PowerLight. These solar pioneers helped to develop and build many megawatts of PV power plants during the first European solar boom, including the world’s first 10 MW PV project—a single-axis tracker in Germany, closely followed by an 11 MW system in Portugal—and a major office in Madrid. Dozens of tracker projects and hundreds of megawatts were deployed in Spain and adjoining countries. The strong relationships cultivated back in those go-go days continue today with our European developer, engineering and construction friends.

NEXTracker, backed by our parent company, Flex, is a global manufacturing and engineering design company, and leader in PV and storage technologies. One of the key lessons we’ve learned from our experiences in Europe and elsewhere is, if you want to run a successful global operation, you must have teams on the ground in the regions where you do business. There’s something to be said for being in the same time zone to deal with issues and challenges responsively in real time, and having the chance to conduct face-to-face meetings rather than on a phone call or via email with someone half a world away. We also believe that a solid knowledge of regional materials and suppliers as well as a firm grasp of local engineering and construction codes and standards are important. We speak the language, we understand local realities, and we know the markets.

We are supplying our NX Horizon single-axis trackers and storage solutions around the world, and many of these projects are initially being developed and built by our European customers and partners, who rank among the world leaders in solar development and construction. As of this writing, we have supplied or are contracted to supply well over 2 GW of tracking systems to projects developed here in Europe for solar installations in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Chile and other locales. For example, a good part of my time these days is spent supporting NEXTracker’s efforts for Enel’s monumental Villanueva solar power plant and other projects under construction in Mexico.

Given our Spanish pedigree, it’s no surprise that we’ve chosen to site our European base of operations here in Spain. This is an ideal location to conduct business with our clients in Spain, Italy, France, Germany and other countries. We also keep close contact with other European links in the solar value chain. One of our key design-engineering partners is headquartered in Madrid and many important steel companies are based on the Iberian Peninsula, and other European suppliers provide components for our systems. 

Spain is also close to some of the hottest emerging solar markets, such as the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and even a quite familiar one—a resurgent European utility sector in countries such as France and Spain. NEXTracker’s European customers are actively engaged in these regions, and our European office is already supporting many of these projects.

As our customers take on more projects and expand into new regions, we look forward to strengthening our European presence and providing the high level of quality service and support that they require.  

If you have a project you’d like to discuss, email Europe@nextracker.com

Visit our European office page for more details.