Flex company NEXTracker announced today that it will be manufacturing additional structural components of its solar tracking systems locally in India. “By augmenting its supply partners to include APL Apollo Tubes along with four other local steel fabricators (already supplying foundation piers to NEXTracker and its customers in India), NEXTracker will be increasing its local steel content percentage to over 80 per cent by volume and weight of its final product,” NEXTracker said in a statement. According to the statement, localising steel pipe manufacturing will reduce shipment time as much as 50 per cent, reduces logistics costs, aligns closely with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Solar Mission and supports the Make in India programme, a national campaign aimed to boost high-value manufacturing jobs, increase investment, and foster innovation.
NEXTracker’s demand has expanded rapidly in India, with over 20 projects delivered or under fulfillment with six of India’s largest developers and EPCs, it said. “Our India expansion reflects our strategy to regionalise manufacturing wherever possible to better serve our customers, accelerate project velocity, reduce risk and save on logistics costs. We’re excited to be expanding and accelerating India’s national Make in India programme by way of our association with a leading value-added steel vendor,” said Dan Shugar, NEXTracker CEO.
India’s annual solar installations are expected to grow to 10.5 gigawatts of utility-scale in 2017, and a growing percentage of developers now prefer single axis trackers, given their added energy yield advantage compared to fixed tilt structures. The largest solar tracker solar plant in Punjab (100 MW) was installed by Adani and is powered by NEXTracker.