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Nextracker, JM Steel Commission Solar Line at Sinton

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Nextracker and JM Steel, a division of JENNMAR USA, have launched a dedicated solar tracker production line on the campus of the new Steel Dynamics, Inc. facility near Corpus Christi, Texas. Nextracker launched a new facility with JM Steel to manufacture low-carbon tracker components for solar power plants throughout the Southern United States.

"Customers want protection from steel and logistics cost volatility, and logistics delays associated with shipping, containers, and ports,” said 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. Moreover, U.S. steel manufacturers like Steel Dynamics Incorporated have a much cleaner, lower carbon production processes than most overseas manufacturers. 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."

A dependable steel supply is central to utility-scale solar, which is now the lowest cost form of energy in many locations. In response to global supply disruptions, Nextracker made the strategic decision to focus on manufacturing in the United States. IHS Markit Insight report recently found that, "Steel procurement and manufacturing location will be a key concern for tracker suppliers as they contend with growing local content requirements among global markets and volatile shipping freight costs."

Partnering with JM Steel, Nextracker will have a dedicated supply of critical materials within one of the fastest growing and biggest solar markets: Texas and the Southern U.S. Last year, Texas overtook California as the top-ranked state for solar capacity additions adding 6.6 gigawatts of solar with an additional 23 GW expected by 2023.

"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,” said Tony 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 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."

The 97,000 square-foot JM Steel Sinton facility opened in October 2021 and represents a $40 million investment.

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