Nextracker and JM Steel (a division of JENNMARUSA) have launched a dedicated solar tracker manufacturing line at the Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI), facility near Corpus Christi. Nextracker and JM Steel have opened a new facility to produce low-carbon tracker components that can be used in solar power plants across the southern United States.
“Customers want protection from steel and logistics cost volatility, and logistics delays associated with shipping, containers and ports,” says Dan Shugar, founder and CEO of Nextracker. “We are migrating to domestic production to stabilize pricing and achieve superior on-time delivery for our customers. U.S. Steel manufacturers like SDI use cleaner, less carbon-intensive production processes than other overseas producers. With JM Steel, we are collocated next to SDI Sinton, the newest steel mill in America, further lowering cost and improving sustainability by integrating key manufacturing activities on a single campus.”
Utility-scale, which is now the most affordable form of energy in many areas, requires a steady supply of steel. Nextracker decided to concentrate on manufacturing in the United States as a response to global supply shortages. Nextracker and JM Steel have partnered to provide a dedicated supply of critical materials for Texas and the Southern U.S.
“JM Steel’s proximity to SDI will provide Nextracker and their customers cost-effective products with quick response times to feed the growing solar market in Texas and the South,” statesTony Calandra, CEO of JM Steel and JENNMAR USA. “And all of the steel being used to make Nextracker’s products will be made with SDI’s newest Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) technology, which utilizes recycled or scrap steel as a raw material for a lower carbon footprint which is a perfect fit for Nextracker’s solar products.”
Steel manufacturing is typically energy-intensive. However, the Electric Arc Furnace is a next-generation process that is more efficient and reduces pollution. EAF-based steel mills can be up to 75% less carbon-intensive that traditional blast furnaces.
“SDI is thrilled to welcome our customers JM Steel and Nextracker to our Sinton, Texas campus, and supply our environmentally-preferred low carbon steel for Nextracker’s innovative solar tracker products,” mentions Barry Schneider, senior vice president of Flat Rolled Steel Group at Steel Dynamics.