A new report published this week by GTM Research shows that the amount of solar PV trackers shipped in 2017 increased 32% year-over-year, as California-based NEXTracker retains its top spot and accounts for a third of all trackers sold last year.
GTM Research published its latest report this week, Global Solar PV Tracker Market Shares and Shipments 2018, which revealed that solar tracker shipments in 2017 reached 14.5 GW (gigawatts), up 32% over 2016 shipments, with Latin America representing the sector’s largest shipping destination.
This is the first time that Latin America has topped this particular market, but it was followed closely by the United States.
“Mexico and Brazil are two of the fastest growing solar markets in the world, each accounting for over 1.5 gigawatts of tracker shipments in 2017, notes Scott Moskowitz, senior analyst at GTM Research and author of the study. “The U.S. utility-scale market was significantly stunted last year due to tariff uncertainty, so it took a backseat to Latin America,”
From a corporate perspective, NEXTracker held its top spot, followed by Array Technologies and Soltec. Not only did the California-based solar tracker company lead the way overall, but GTM’s figures show that it also led regional share in the United States, Mexico and Latin America, Asia Pacific, and India.
“We’re appreciative to achieve this global tracker leadership milestone for a third year in a row,” said NEXTracker CEO Dan Shugar. “We have been focused since founding the company on incorporating customer requirements, and innovating with new features that increase profitability for system owners and EPCs.
“Our durable Gen2 platform, with over 7 GW in the field, demonstrated exemplary structural performance during the extreme weather year of 2017; characterized by numerous hurricanes. Recently our TrueCapture smart control system is delivering very exciting results in multiple utility-scale field trials. TrueCapture and our bifacial optimized trackers are offering a significant next level of energy gain over standard trackers.”
Looking forward, GTM Research expects to see continued consolidation of the solar tracker industry, despite recent strong growth. According to Moskowitz, vendor margins will continue to compress as the market grows, making profitability a “significant challenge.” Nevertheless, GTM remains positive overall. “Fundamentals in the global utility-scale solar industry are excellent, and trackers are an obvious choice in most developing solar markets,” said Moskowitz. “We expect 30 percent growth in 2018, with shipments approaching 20 gigawatts.”
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