Nextracker to supply 3GW of NX Horizon solar trackers to Leeward

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Leeward’s 100MW Rabbitbrush solar facility in California. Credit: Leeward Renewable Energy

Renewable power company Leeward Renewable Energy and solar tracker developer Nextracker have signed a volume commitment agreement to deliver 3GW of the latter’s trackers to the former’s under-construction solar projects.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nextracker will supply its NX Horizon solar tracking system to Leeward’s facilities until 2027. The system is already widespread in the global solar sector, with NX Horizon trackers in place at 75GW of solar capacity across six continents, and Nextracker estimates that using the system can increase the energy production of linked solar panels by 6%.

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“The team at Leeward Renewable Energy have been strong supporters of our domestic manufacturing program for several years now and we’re grateful for their trust,” said Dan Shugar, founder and CEO of Nextracker. “We’re delighted to be supplying our high performing solar tracking systems and advanced software to the LRE VCA project portfolio – with mostly domestic content.”

The companies, both of which are based in the US, are eager to take advantage of the incentives offered to US-based renewable companies by the Inflation Reduction Act. One of the act’s primary aims has been to encourage greater domestic manufacturing of and research into solar panels, and the work of both companies comes at a time of sustained growth in the US solar sector.

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), utility-scale solar accounted for 6% of the US’ total energy production in January this year, but the administration expects this to increase dramatically by the end of 2023. Of the new energy generation capacity set to be added in the US this year, the EIA expects over half to be solar. Should this happen, this will be the most solar capacity added in a single year, and mark the first year that solar accounted for more than half of new capacity additions in the US.

While Leeward did not specify which of its projects would benefit from the Nextracker products, it is looking to expand its US operations as part of the growing solar sector. The company currently owns two operating solar projects, the 100MW Rabbitbrush facility in California and the 30MW Barilla plant in Texas, and is currently completing construction work on another three, with a combined capacity of 496MW.

The news follows a strong financial quarter for Nextracker, in which the tracker supplier posted a 19% increase in its year-on-year revenues to US$479.5 million.

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