Trina Solar acquires a controlling interest in tracker company Nclave

NClave solar tracker

NClave solar tracker in Panama

Trina Solar, a Chinese supplier of global solutions for the solar sector, has reached an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in Nclave. This agreement consolidates the strategic one signed this March between both companies, which was an engagement to jointly develop, commercialize and install integral solutions for the photovoltaic sector with Nclave’s advanced photovoltaic tracker.

This corporate transaction reinforces Nclave’s position in the photovoltaic tracker market; and boosts the company’s growth plans established in its strategic plan, increasing its already wide client portfolio and improving its global positioning.

Trina Solar Limited, founded in 1997, is one of the leading companies in the solar sector worldwide. Nowadays, the company is immersed in an ambitious transformation process with the aim of becoming one of the main suppliers of global solutions in the solar sector. The company´s leading position in the industry is based on innovation excellence, high quality products, vertically integrated capacities and an environmentally efficient responsible management.

RELATED: Trina Solar hits 25.04 percent efficiency for large-area IBC mono-crystalline silicon solar cell

This March and, on the year of the company’s twentieth anniversary, Trina Solar launched TrinaPro solution, offering an optimized integration of modules-trackers-inverter, with the objective of reducing the LCOE for photovoltaic installations. Nclave will design and integrate trackers and solar structures within TrinaPro intelligent solutions.

About Nclave

Nclave was founded by the Clavijo Family and integrated the company MFV in 2017 together with the participation of the fund Q-Growth. Nclave has over 12 years of experience in renewable energy sources, having provided more than 2.5 GW worldwide. It currently has its headquarters in Madrid (Spain), commercial offices in five continents and manufacturing facilities in Navarra (Spain).

Nclave is a leading company in the development, design, manufacturing, installation and maintenance of fixed structures and photovoltaic solar trackers, including dimensioning and implementing of all foundation solutions. Nclave offers the widest range of products in the market (fixed structures and single and multi row trackers with any configuration), being adaptable to all kinds of project through solutions with minimum investment cost; as well as operation and maintenance.

— Solar Builder magazine

NEXTracker, First Solar team on 600 MW of Series 6 projects, to feature new ‘error-proof’ panel clamp

NEXTracker First Solar

The NEXTracker mounting solution for the First Solar Series 6 panel features patent-pending panel clamps that company says provides error-proof rail alignment and rapid module installation.

NEXTracker will begin collaborating with First Solar to provide its racking technology for the upcoming Series 6 panel rollout this year. The First Solar engineering procurement construction (EPC) group also selected NEXTracker’s NX Horizon for multiple utility-scale projects in the southwestern United States, totaling 634 MW using the Series 6 module: Rosamond, Calif. (193 MW), Willow, Calif. (129 MW) and Phoebe, Texas (312 MW).

What’s new?

The NEXTracker mounting solution for the First Solar Series 6 panel features patent-pending panel clamps that company says provides error-proof rail alignment and rapid module installation. NEXTracker’s mounting solution can be configured to accommodate a wide range of site conditions that may see wind speeds up to 130 mph, up to a 15% north-south slope, and also high corrosion environments. NEXTracker has further enhanced NX Horizon for future First Solar Series 4 projects, with optimized logistics and cost saving features.

RELATED: How NEXTracker ‘decapitated the duck’ with its new solar-plus-storage tracker design

“With First Solar’s Series 6, they have created an elegant, superior thin film technology, with high efficiency and a beneficial temperature coefficient,” said Dan Shugar, founder and CEO of NEXTracker. “The excellent diffuse light response of First Solar’s photovoltaic cells pairs perfectly with TrueCapture, NEXTracker’s proprietary smart control system, to increase yields in PV power plants.”

“For the past year we’ve invested in partnering with the right suppliers who could complement our Series 6 technology in terms of innovation in system performance,” said Georges Antoun, Chief Commercial Officer of First Solar. “As part of our core ecosystem, NEXTracker is not only the global market share leader in solar tracking technology, but also delivers unparalleled design and customer service. We look forward to more successes together.”

— Solar Builder magazine

sPower renews partnership with Array Technologies for the next three years


Array Technologies and sPower announced a three-year partnership at the GTM Solar Summit in southern California to do multi-gigawatts of business. This announcement comes after the two big brands’ previous four years working together.

“The newly created partnership between Array Technologies and sPower is a testament to the strength and success of a matured-U.S. solar market,” said Jeff Krantz, Senior Vice President at Array Technologies, “This deal represents a significant milestone for our company’s continued robust growth throughout the nation.”

The adoption of solar trackers for utility-scale solar projects has grown significantly in recent years, with more than 70 percent of ground-mounted PV systems in the United States utilizing the technology. In regions with high solar irradiance, trackers can produce a 20 to 30 percent increase in energy output over fixed-tilt systems. The continued adoption of solar trackers comes down to economics and reliability.

“We are looking forward to this partnership with Array Technologies – it’s going to help enhance our solar portfolio for years to come,” said Josh Skogen, Senior Vice President of Project Development at sPower.

“Studies have shown Array’s patented technology to provide the lowest O&M costs of the different architectures on the market, so the partnership is not only a positive industry collaboration, but also provides a significant financial benefit to sPower as the owners of these assets,” said Krantz.

— Solar Builder magazine

Iowa university to install NEXTracker solar+storage power plant

NEXTracker solar storage

Iowa-based Ideal Energy is constructing a 1.1 MW power plant at the Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa, using the NEXTracker NX Flow integrated solar-plus-storage system. The project will be built on University land and, when completed, it is projected to be one of the largest solar-plus-storage power plants in the state, producing enough energy to cover nearly a third of the University’s annual electricity usage. In addition to those savings, NX Flow will use peak-shaving to significantly reduce MUM’s utility bill during high-demand times.

NX Flow’s energy storage system integrates battery, solar tracker, inverter, and software technologies to improve return on investment for owners of solar power plants. At the core of the system lies an advanced vanadium flow battery (VFB), which is DC-coupled with the photovoltaic array. With NX Flow, the battery charges directly off the array, enabling the battery to store “clipped” energy up to its capacity limit. Energy that has been lost to clipping can now be used to generate additional kilowatt-hours of revenue. Ideal Energy will also be installing NEXTracker’s award-winning smart solar tracker, NX Horizon, for decentralized active tracking.

RELATED: Massachusetts’ first community solar plus storage project now operational

“We’re excited to be a part of the solar project serving Maharishi University of Management and working to help further solidify Iowa’s spot on the renewable energy leader board,” said Amy Van Beek, cofounder of Ideal Energy. “When it came time to recommend a solar-and-storage solution, NEXTracker was not only the clear choice with its next-generation technology and trackers, but its customer-first approach is second to none, and the short product delivery lead times on an accelerated schedule were essential. We look forward to furthering Iowa’s promising solar future.”

With 37 percent of Iowa’s electricity coming from wind power, Iowa is no stranger to producing renewable energy. And, according to The Solar Foundation’s 2017 National Solar Jobs census, with an increase of 45 percent of solar jobs in 2017 alone, the state is expanding its clean energy production to include solar energy.

As Iowa has relatively high demand charges (typically above $20/kW), it is an ideal state for solar plus storage, according the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

— Solar Builder magazine

GP JOULE completes Minnesota community solar projects with its single-axis tracker

GP JOULE 2.7MW Project in Lake Waconia, MN

GP JOULE 2.7MW Project in Lake Waconia, Minn.

GP JOULE Canada Corp., a subsidiary of GP JOULE GmbH, has successfully completed six utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects through its U.S. operations, totaling 12 megawatts (MW) in Minnesota. In two of these projects, the company combined its EPC expertise in the north with its proprietary single-axis tracker technology to streamline design, supply and installation. Systems were engineered, constructed and brought online in under 8 months, with the majority of the installation taking place during challenging winter conditions.

“Leveraging our deep experience deploying systems throughout Canada, we are well positioned to support solar developers facing extreme winter conditions in the Midwest and the Northeast,” said David Pichard, GP JOULE Canada VP and COO. “These systems were installed under enormous time pressure in the toughest environments, demonstrating our expertise in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering and precise project management.”

RELATED: How are solar trackers holding up in hurricane season? 

GP JOULE supplied its PHLEGON single-axis tracker on two sites in Webster and New Germany, offering a vertically-integrated solution for utility PV projects. Designed specifically for harsh climates and challenging sites, the PHLEGON tracker uses heavy-duty linear actuators that intelligently integrate sophisticated German-engineered control systems. This technology contends with heavy snow and high winds to ensure production 365 days a year. Cost-effective PHLEGON utilizes up to 50 percent fewer piles than competing trackers, has the lowest fastener count and offers the easiest ground maintenance access in the industry.

“We are committed to delivering the lowest total installed cost,” said Pichard. “By integrating EPC services with a cost-effective tracking solution, we can support profitability in burgeoning small utility markets like the Minnesota Community Solar movement.”

GP JOULE has partnered with the upcoming Midwest Solar Expo and Smart Energy Symposium in Minneapolis April 30 through May 2 to showcase its expertise building PV in tough northern climates. The “True North Solar Tour” will explore a freshly commissioned 1.3 MW solar farm in Webster on April 30. Participants will gain insights on how to optimize solar power plant construction and boost energy productivity in northern markets. Registration is required.

— Solar Builder magazine