US Solar Tracker Maker Wants Locally Produced Steel

FTC Solar Ropes In Thailand’s Taihua New Energy To Produce Steel Components For Utility Scale Solar PV Projects In US

US Solar Tracker Maker Wants Locally Produced Steel

After Nextracker, FTC Solar has now announced investment in local steel supply for its tracker solutions in the US. (Illustrative Photo; Photo Credit: abriendomundo/

  • FTC Solar is investing in a local steel production fab in Texas with steel fabricator Taihua New Energy of Thailand
  • The joint venture Alpha Steel LLC will start commercial operations of the factory in mid-2023
  • The products to be produced here will include torque tubes that are to get tax credit under IRA

US solar tracker manufacturer FTC Solar, Inc has announced Alpha Steel LLC as a joint venture (JV) with its existing steel supplier Taihua New Energy of Thailand to build a steel fab in the US to ensure stable supply of locally manufactured steel for utility scale solar plants in the country.

In a brief announcement, FTC said the Alpha steel facility is planned to start commercial operations in mid-2023, outside of Houston in Sealy, Texas. The production line will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to enable FTC to quickly deploy its trackers, said Taihua New Energy CEO Kailiang Ji who is now also the general manager of Alpha Steel.

Steel products to be manufactured at the new Texas fab by Alpha includes torque tubes which under the US’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) get a tax credit of $0.87/kg till 2029. The tax credit gradually phases down to $0.65/kg in 2030, $0.44/kg in 2031, $0.22/kg in 2032 before ending completely in 2033 (see Inflation Reduction Act 2022 Now A Law).

“This agreement will further enhance our domestic supply chain, and our ability to support our customers and the growth of the U.S. solar market, with domestic manufacturing utilizing US steel,” said Sean Hunkler, Chief Executive Officer of FTC Solar.

The company did not unveil the annual production capacity of the planned factory in Texas.

FTC Solar’s news follows another US tracker maker Nextracker that’s also investing in domestically produced steel to meet its requirements. It commissioned a new green steel tracker production line in Texas with JM Steel in April 2022, with another dedicated manufacturing line in Arizona with Atkore, and in June 2022 it announced reopening the Bethlehem Steel Manufacturing Factory in Pittsburg with local steel fabricator BCI Steel (see Steel Fab Reopens In US For Nextracker).

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

SENIOR NEWS EDITOR Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews, she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power. In the past 9 years that she has been associated with TaiyangNews, she has covered over thousands of stories, and analysis pieces on markets, technology, financials, and more on a daily basis. She also hosts TaiyangNews Conferences and Webinars. Prior to joining TaiyangNews, Anu reported on sustainability, management, and education for leading print dailies in India. [email protected]

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