Fremont, California–based solar technology startup NEXTracker has raised $25 million in equity and growth capital financing. The company makes single-axis PV trackers, which position solar panels in relation to the sun as it moves through the sky in order to increase exposure and produce more electricity. The company’s technology can also reduce installation and operation costs.
SJF Ventures, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, and DBL Investors have all provided funding for NEXTracker.
“NEXTracker is led by successful solar veterans who have developed new tracking systems which are increasing the profitability of utility-scale solar power in many countries. This financing will ensure that NEXTracker’s technology helps even more solar project owners surmount design and installation challenges, while driving down the cost of solar deployment,” explained managing director and co-founder Dave Kirkpatrick.
The new funding will be used to increase production. The company is now capable of delivering 200 MW/month and has expanded its staff to other continents like South America, Asia, and Australia.
In the second quarter of 2014, NEXTracker provides its technology to a 73,000 kW commercial solar power plant in Calama, Chile. Atacama Chile is the site of another commercial solar plant the company supplied its tracking technology to, this time for a 69,000 kW facility. A solar plant in Honduras also utilized NEXTtracker technology in the same period for a 57,000 kW site.
In 2013, the company collaborated on a solar installation at Sardinia, Italy. “We are very excited about the Solaria horizontal single-axis tracking system. Our crew was able to install it in record time. The tracker’s low number of piers and innovative design enabled significant acceleration and cost reduction during the installation process. Solaria’s experienced team of tracker engineers provided tremendous support and worked closely with our team in the field during the installation and the commissioning of the plant,” explained Luciano Serra, President, Euroenergy S.p.A. If the references to Solaria are confusing, NEXTracker was spun out of Solaria.
The Sardinia solar plant has a capacity of 2020 kW.
NEXTtracker tracking technology is self-powered, so wiring for solar panel installations is simpler. It also makes it possible to move the trackers relatively quickly to a position that can protect them from high winds or hail.