Nextracker™ is partnering with FIT (Flex Instituto de Tecnologia) to launch solar tracker R&D facility, the Brazil Center for Solar Excellence (CFSE). This state-of-the-art multi-million-dollar photovoltaic research and development center will be officially unveiled in Sorocaba, Brazil on August 22.
The CFSE technology hub will encompass the full lifecycle of solar tracker systems including structural, mechanical, and electrical design, construction, operation, and maintenance. CFSE researchers will conduct in-depth research and testing on wind dynamics, soil mechanics, and tracker performance enhancement via software and battery backup systems. The Nextracker – FIT facility includes an adjacent 770 kilowatt (kW) solar installation which serves as an outdoor laboratory for prototyping and testing new products and a workforce training center totaling 30,000 square meters.
"We're proud to have Nextracker as a partner on our Guañizul project in Argentina and looking forward to our collaboration on upcoming South American projects using their high-performing NX Horizon smart solar tracker systems," stated Aleksander Skaare, Vice President of projects at Scatec. "This facility is an exciting development to help advance the solar industry in Brazil and South America."
According to Woodmackenzie Power & Renewables, Nextracker holds the no. 1 position for solar trackers in Brazil with 38% market share. The company won six projects in the past nine months with a cumulative capacity of 2.6 GW, bringing their total tracker projects in Brazil to 5.5 GW either in operation or under fulfillment.
"Brazil is one of the fastest-growing solar power markets in the world," stated Dan Shugar, CEO and founder of Nextracker. "We've been making our electronic controllers and key components in Brazil for over five years, now investing heavily in a world-class R&D and test facility. We've provided installer training to hundreds of solar professionals through our PowerworX Academy and together with FIT, hired dozens of highly specialized and talented staff to continue to advance the state-of-the-art technology to best support our customers. This center is an expansion of this effort." For Dan Shugar, the initiative is another step toward accelerating solar as the world's fastest growing source of energy.
Carlos Ohde, General Manager of the FIT Institute of Technology said, "We're focused on careful design, empirical testing, and performance with well-designed measurement and verification protocol. We're thrilled to partner with Nextracker as the core anchor in this R&D center and as the leading solar technology company to take solar power generation to new heights."
Nextracker's new Brazilian R&D hub is modeled after the company's existing Center of Excellence facility co-located at their headquarters in Fremont, California (USA). Brazil's fast-growing pipeline of PV projects led Nextracker to choose the country for its largest investment in R&D and training outside of North America.
According to analyst firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, Brazil's solar tracker market is growing four times as fast as the international market, with single-axis tracker installations having increased by 105% (or 5.7 GW) in 2021. Brazil has a goal to achieve 45% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.