Solar FlexRack Will Close More Than 500 Megawatts Of Sales In 2019

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Solar FlexRack, a division of Northern States Metals, will close over 500 megawatts of business in 2019. Changes to the international supply chain and internal operations are supporting the surge in business. The division makes products like the TDP 2.0 Solar Tracker and the FlexRack Series G3-X. Some of the largest deals of the year were a 105 megawatts (MW) North Carolina project, a 50 MW Connecticut project, and a 28 MW New Jersey project. Of course, there were many other sales as well, and Solar FlexRack could have an extraordinary year in 2019. (In the division’s history, it has installed more than 2 gigawatts of solar racks in the US and in five countries.) Steve Daniel, EVP of Sales & Marketing at Solar FlexRack, answered some questions for CleanTechnica about the recent sales surge.

Image Credit: Solar Flexrack

Why was there a surge in solar tracker orders?

We introduced our TDP Solar Tracker in late 2015 and the TDP 2.0 Tracker in 2017 to complement our Fixed Tilt business. Over the last few years, we’ve done a great job implementing tracker systems across the US in literally all climate areas. We’ve built a strong list of repeat customers.

These customers have adopted our product as a preferred solution. Recently we’ve been able to drive down our costs allowing us to close more business (more of their projects), as well as larger projects, now that our pricing is in line with our competitors.

Are all the solar tracker orders for commercial applications?

There is a well-balanced mix of utility-scale, commercial and industrial, and distributed generation clients in our portfolio. This mix is dynamic and changes over time, however as our project size has increased, we are taking on a larger share of utility-scale projects.

How many solar trackers are typically used in one of these projects, and are they deployed by megawatt of solar capacity?

Projects are usually sized by MW size. We optimize our design to provide the most cost-effective and structurally sound solutions to our clients via an iterative process.

What is the cost of one of your solar trackers and how much time is required for installation?

Due to the competitive nature of the business, we do not provide pricing, but we can share that we are now much more competitive in the marketplace than we have been in recent years.

How much does your solar tracking technology improve solar panel output compared with a stationary panel?

This is dependent on many factors, most importantly the project’s location. Solar tracker production has a larger increase over fixed tilt production in areas where DNI (Direct Normal Irradiance) is highest. There are many maps available from sources such as NREL which show the actual estimated production by area of the country. Having said that, the general rule of thumb is 15-25%.

What are your plans for 2020?

Our plans for 2020 are to continue to make product improvements in both our fixed tilt and tracker solutions, drive down price to be more competitive, and continue our relentless effort to provide the very best engineering, Geotech and field services to our client base.

Image Credit: Solar Flexrack

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Jake Richardson

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