NEXTracker gets Brazil local content compliance


NEXTracker's CEO Dan Shugar speaking with US Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy. Image: NEXtracker facebook page.

NEXTracker has received certification for compliance with Brazilian domestic content rules for its manufacturing operations, opening access to favourable credit lines for the company.

The firm, which topped the rankings for North American solar PV tracker sales in 2015 according to a report out from research firm IHS earlier this week, has established facilities in Brazil co-located with the premises of its recent new owner, manufacturing specialist Flextronics.

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NEXTracker said today that FINAME accreditation, a state programme that will allow the firm to receive local development bank credit lines, means production of its devices including the NX Horizon trackers comply with Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) rules for local content and manufacturing processes. Under the programme, firms are eligible to receive a percentage of financing for capital goods purchasing of as much as 80%.

“Brazil represents a boundless new frontier for solar deployment. In addition to serving this important market, we’re delighted to be contributing to the Brazilian economy by adding new, high-quality solar jobs,” CEO Dan Shugar said, adding that the accreditation “solidifies our ability to deliver significant volumes” of trackers in Brazil.

NEXTracker established its Brazil operations last autumn

‘From nothing to US$300 million in less than two years’

In October, Nancy Pfund of DBL Partners, an investment firm focusing on only adding companies which have a positive social impact as well as healthy returns to its portfolio, said that it had achieved a “fantastic exit” from investing in NEXtracker when the company was sold to Flextronics.

Pfund said she already knew about the track record of NEXTracker’s CEO from a previous deal when Shugar sold Powerlight to SunPower in 2006. Pfund said DBL held NEXtracker for less than two years while the company’s value went from “nothing” to US$300 million in that time.

The profitable exit “was surprising to some people because it was a hardware deal and people are always saying, it’s all about financing, or software, or smart grid this, and I agree, it is about that, but it’s about everything,” said Pfund, who was one of SolarCity and Tesla’s early backers.

“I think you just have to kind of follow the cost curve and sometimes hardware is the right place to invest and I think people kind of forget about that.”

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