Nextracker announces NX Horizon trackers produced with 35% smaller carbon footprint

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Nextracker’s manufacturing process uses electric arc furnace processing for its NX Horizon products. Image: Nextracker

US solar tracker manufacturer Nextracker has received confirmation that the manufacturing of its NX Horizon series of trackers produces a 35% smaller carbon footprint than other processes, according to “a third-party verified analysis”.

The company notes that the series of trackers has completed a Life Cycle Assessment, an analysis of the environmental impact of industrial processes that measures the impact of work on carbon emission, land use and water consumption. Nextracker also announced that it has received the Carbon Trust Product Carbon Footprint label for the tracker series, demonstrating that it has met “the global standard” for carbon emission data collecting and reporting for the production of its NX Horizon products.

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“Our low carbon tracker delivers measurable results in decarbonising solar power through circular and increasingly renewably powered steelmaking, optimised logistics and careful selection of raw material providers,” said Dan Shugar, Nextracker founder and CEO.

Nextracker’s production process most notably involves electric arc furnace (EAF) processing, rather than traditional basic oxygen furnace (BOF) processing. An electric arc furnace is used to melt steel scraps to make new steel, while BOF processing burns coal to melt iron ore, and the electrified, lower-carbon industrial process is becoming increasingly commonplace around the world.

Analyst Wood Mackenzie expects the share of EAF in global steel production to increase from around 28% today to 50% by 2050, and with US$130 billion needed in investment in EAF processing capacity to facilitate this transition, the involvement of Nextracker in the EAF space will be of benefit to the decarbonisation of steelmaking.

Minimising Scope 3 emissions

“We appreciate our customers helping us drive toward a cleaner, more robust supply chain to provide third-party verification for providers and consumers of solar power to meet their Scope 3 and other decarbonisation goals and requirements,” added Shugar.

There is growing awareness of the carbon footprint of the solar manufacturing industry, with Davor Sutija, CEO of German wafer manufacturer NexWafe, telling PV Tech earlier this month that “there’s a push towards establishing a solar supply chain that mitigates dependency on imports and reduces the carbon debt.”

Shugar’s comments on Nextracker’s Scope 3 emissions are also significant. These emissions, those generated by a company’s supply chain and the usage of its products, were notably absent from the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s final ruling on new reporting requirements for US companies, announced in March, with critics suggesting that an absence of Scope 3 reporting mandates could result in a significant part of a company’s carbon footprint not being reported upon.

Nextracker’s awareness of the importance of Scope 3 admissions is a positive sign, and follows encouraging financial results for the company, which posted quarterly revenue growth of 38% at the end of 2023.

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