Solar research, test lab and training facility builds on Nextracker’s 5.5 gigawatts of smart solar trackers in Brazil and 70 gigawatts worldwide
SOROCABA, Brazil, Aug. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Nextracker™, the global leader in smart solar trackers with the no. 1 market share position in Brazil, is partnering with FIT (Flex Instituto de Tecnologia) to launch South America’s largest solar tracker R&D facility, the Brazil Center for Solar Excellence (CFSE). This state-of-the-art multi-million-dollar photovoltaic research and development center will be officially unveiled in Sorocaba, Brazil on August 22.
The CFSE technology hub will encompass the full lifecycle of solar tracker systems including structural, mechanical, and electrical design, construction, operation, and maintenance. CFSE researchers will conduct in-depth research and testing on wind dynamics, soil mechanics, and tracker performance enhancement via software and battery backup systems. The Nextracker – FIT facility includes an adjacent 770 kilowatt (kW) solar installation which serves as an outdoor laboratory for prototyping and testing new products and a workforce training center totaling 30,000 square meters.
“We’re proud to have Nextracker as a partner on our Guañizul project in Argentina and looking forward to our collaboration on upcoming South American projects using their high performing NX Horizon smart solar tracker systems,” stated Aleksander Skaare, Vice President of projects at Scatec. “This facility is an exciting development to help advance the solar industry in Brazil and South America.”
According to Woodmackenzie Power & Renewables, Nextracker holds the no. 1 position for solar trackers in Brazil with 38% market share. The company won six projects in the past nine months with a cumulative capacity of 2.6 GW, bringing their total tracker projects in Brazil to 5.5 GW either in operation or under fulfillment.
“Brazil is one of the fastest-growing solar power markets in the world,” stated Dan Shugar, CEO and founder of Nextracker. “We’ve been making our electronic controllers and key components in Brazil for over five years, now investing heavily in a world-class R&D and test facility. We’ve provided installer training to hundreds of solar professionals through our PowerworX Academy and together with FIT, hired dozens of highly specialized and talented staff to continue to advance the state-of-the-art technology to best support our customers. This center is an expansion of this effort.” For Dan Shugar, the initiative is another step toward accelerating solar as the world’s fastest growing source of energy.
Carlos Ohde, General Manager of the FIT Institute of Technology said, “We’re focused on careful design, empirical testing, and performance with well-designed measurement and verification protocol. We’re thrilled to partner with Nextracker as the core anchor in this R&D center and as the leading solar technology company to take solar power generation to new heights.”
Nextracker’s new Brazilian R&D hub is modeled after the company’s existing Center of Excellence facility co-located at their headquarters in Fremont, California (USA). Brazil’s fast-growing pipeline of PV projects led Nextracker to choose the country for its largest investment in R&D and training outside of North America.
According to analyst firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, Brazil’s solar tracker market is growing four times as fast as the international market, with single-axis tracker installations having increased by 105% (or 5.7 GW) in 2021. Brazil has a goal to achieve 45% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
With 70 GW of single-axis trackers delivered worldwide, Nextracker is a world leader in smart, integrated tracker solutions and software. Its solar trackers and intelligent software allow utility-scale solar power plants to track the movement of the sun and optimize the performance of these assets.
Notable Brazil projects include the Janaúba complex (1.2 GW) and Sol do Cerrado (766 MW). With a local workforce to support the complete life cycle of solar projects spanning sales, operations, and technical support, Nextracker has already supplied solar trackers to 16 utility-scale solar plants in Brazil, from Ceará to São Paulo.
The company entered the Brazilian market in 2015. Its administrative headquarters, factory, and training program for installers, PowerworX Academy, are in Sorocaba. Nextracker’s PowerworX installer training academy provides cross-functional, hands-on instruction to solar workers on the fundamentals and finer points of the design, installation, commissioning, software, and operations and maintenance of Nextracker’s advanced PV systems.
For more information, please visit: www.nextracker.com
Founded in 2003, FIT – Institute of Technology is a national non-profit organization, accredited by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation. FIT is a leading institute developing technological solutions for a wide range of industries; solutions that anticipate the needs of the market, industry, and people. With state-of-the-art equipment and a highly qualified team, FIT contributes to technological developments that surprise and reveal trends. We are building the future every day and bringing technology to everyone. For more information, please visit FIT.