NEXTracker’s nets horizontal axis tracker order for 16MW Mexico project

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NEXTracker, specialising in horizontal tracking systems for PV power plants, will supply single axis trackers to a 16MW project in Chihuahua, Mexico.

The plant, “Los Santos”, will supply power to a manufacturer of large cables and an educational network. Mexico has “self supply” rules in place under which a long-term agreement has been made for the power delivered from the project. Los Santos is being developed by Buenavista Renewables (BVR), which has ordered the trackers.

Buenavista has offices in the US, Mexico and China, but its activities are currently focused on Mexico. In common with the rest of the Latin American region, potential there for solar energy deployment is considered to be good, although the market has taken some time to get off the ground.

The US' neighbour was ranked second in Latin America for PV installations in 2014, according to a recent report by GTM Research which said 67MW was installed during last year. Mexico also rose to 24th place in the annual “Renewable energy country attractiveness index” published by consultancy Ernst & Young in March.

This continued a steady ascent, with the country hitting 25th place last year and 27th the year before. Ernst & Young stated their confidence that long term energy strategy plans by the Mexican government will lead to the publication of a roadmap and other measures to get generating Mexico up to 35% of its energy from renewable sources by 2024. The figure is at around 12% at present.

Headquartered in Fremont, California, NEXTracker announced earlier this year that it was doubling production capacity to over 200MW a month on the back of increased demand, raising US$25 million from venture capital (VC) investors. The latest project is expected to be among Mexico’s largest PV plants to date. It also marks NEXTracker’s first involvement in the Mexican market. The company talked up the suitability of its products for the market in a statement announcing the supply order. A recent report from IHS appears to back this up, with analyst Cormac Giligan stating that single-axis trackers are the technology of choice in Central and North America for ground-mounted PV plants.

“Many project sites in Mexico pose layout constraints, and NEXTracker’s independent row design provides a tremendous amount of design flexibility,” Dan Shugar, CEO of NEXTracker said.

“This enables developers to fit up to 30% more PV per site, maximizing investment in land and fixed development costs for superior financial returns.”

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