Bringing Solar Manufacturing Home
Creating new jobs, de-risking the domestic supply chain, and investing in solar manufacturing to build 10 GW of annual domestic solar tracker capacity
The past two years have been a major challenge for the global solar and clean energy industries. Supply chain issues, skyrocketing shipping costs, rising solar module and other solar component costs, and steel price hikes along with–all amid a global pandemic–have layered on levels of difficulty for the sector. Add in U.S. policy issues such as the Department of Commerce’s AD/CVD investigation of Southeast Asian manufacturers, WRO customs rulings, and legislative bottlenecks in Washington, and, it’s been no less than a perfect storm. As a result, market forecasts from WoodMackenzie and others have predicted a sharp slowdown, especially in the utility solar area.
President Biden’s decisive leadership enables companies like mine to move forward on stalled projects and bring solar workers back to our job sites. I strongly urge the Department of Commerce to work toward a swift end to this case and put the solar industry fully back to work”
Nextracker and JM Steel inaugurate steel production plant in Sinton, Texas
This new dedicated JM Steel steel component facility will serve the southern U.S. solar power market, producing greener, low-carbon steel tracker components using recycled scrap and smelting technology ultimately helping create local jobs, creating a more predictable production schedule while minimizing environmental impact, and re-engineering the supply chain. The low-carbon steel fabrication plant will incorporate both new and re-shored equipment that has been shipped to the U.S. from factories in China and other countries in Southeast Asia. Read the full story, here.
The steel being used to make Nextracker’s products will be made with SDI’s newest Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) technology, which utilizes recycled or scrap steel as a raw material for a lower carbon footprint, which is a perfect fit for Nextracker’s solar products.”
Nextracker and Atkore inaugurate steel production facility in Phoenix
Initial production from this new manufacturing line will be used locally, supporting southwestern projects such as the Arizona Public Service Co’s 150 MW Agave Solar Project under construction in Arizona by McCarthy Building Companies. Read more on the program, here.
The event was attended by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego as well as executives from APS, and McCarthy Building Companies. A compelling industry roundtable was held just after the formal proceedings; panelists included executives from SB Energy, First Solar, Novasource, Arevon, American Clean Power, and Nextracker CEO, Dan Shugar. Watch the full session below.
– Jacky Sanchez, Quality Manager, Atkore
This expansion of manufacturing capacity with Nextracker and Atkore complements the solar program APS has been advancing for decades to serve Arizona’s growing energy demand. Advanced trackers help generate more clean solar power at a lower cost for customers. Locally sourced solar trackers can help ensure on-time delivery, enabling us to maintain reliable service while keeping up with the rapid growth in our service territory.”
President Biden invokes Defense Production Act to boost domestic solar manufacturing, grants two-year solar tariff suspension
President Biden took bold steps via executive action to authorize the use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technologies, put the full power of federal procurement to work spurring additional domestic solar manufacturing capacity, and use a two-year solar tariff suspension to ensure the reliable supply of components that U.S. solar deployers need to construct clean energy projects. Read more here.
– Mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego
The U.S. solar industry is actively making investments to further increase the scale of the domestic manufacturing sector, including recent announcements to expand U.S. module production facilities, create new manufacturing plants for components like steel trackers, and work with allied trading partners to unlock the potential for inputs (like polysilicon) from the United States.”
Nextracker and BCI Steel renovate abandoned Pittsburgh steel factory to serve the growing U.S. utility-scale solar market
The BCI Steel facility in Leetsdale outside of Pittsburgh lies on the same site where steel fabricators built materials for amphibious landing ships during World War II. The low-carbon steel fabrication plant will incorporate both new and re-shored equipment that has been shipped back to the U.S. from factories in Malaysia and Brazil. Solar tracker products produced at the factory will serve the rapidly growing utility solar markets such as Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York and Ohio.
BCI Steel’s Pittsburgh factory enables the quick-ship response times we need to meet booming demand from our customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Heartland regions. This investment will increase the resilience of the U.S. solar supply chain and bring manufacturing jobs, equipment, and capacity back to America.”