A look inside the solar industry’s newest U.S. factory

Solar Power World

A steel processing plant in Pennsylvania that predates World War I has returned to operations and is producing crucial components for an industry non-existent 100 years ago — solar power.

Bethlehem Steel was founded in 1904 in Leetsdale, Pennsylvania, a town about 20 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. The factory was dormant for years and still had dirt floors at the beginning of 2022. In June of this year, part of the interior was rebuilt to accommodate manufacturing lines for torque tubes — the rotating portion of a single-axis solar tracker — used in racking developed by Nextracker, one of the largest manufacturers of solar trackers on the planet.

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