Analysis: Emerging Markets and Innovation: Twin Pillars of the Solar Tracker Market
By Cormac Gilligan
For many tracker suppliers active in the U.S. market, the stepdown in the investment tax credit (ITC) and the willingness of developers to safe harbor for projects yet to be built has meant that 2020 started very strongly.
The supplier landscape continued to be extremely competitive as leading suppliers expanded into new markets globally, with solar tracker technology becoming increasingly accepted by developers, EPCs and the financial community. Leading suppliers such as Nextracker and Array Technologies accounted for almost half of global shipments in 2019. Both of them enjoyed a strong year due to booming utility-scale solar PV markets, and as developers in the United States safe harbored trackers in order to safeguard a higher ITC rate.
Solar trackers are uniquely positioned to assist with safe harbor as they do not degrade compared to solar modules. Additionally, prices are less likely to decrease relative to other balance-of-systems components and by their nature, the components are relatively robust for storage while waiting to be installed. Other suppliers such as GameChange Solar, Soltec, Nclave, Convert Italia and PVH were all active in the United States and some suppliers received significant orders to safe harbor in 2019.
Photo courtesy of James Moran.