New Mexico-based manufacturer Array Technologies has signed a 1-GW tracker supply agreement, this time for a total of 1 GW of DuraTrack single-axis solar trackers with RP Construction Services. Deliveries under the agreement are expected to commence in December 2020 and continue through the end of 2021. As with the 1.4 GW Lightsource deal from earlier this month, the full financial details of this supply agreement have not yet been released.
RPCS provides design-build services for small and medium-sized ground-mounted solar energy projects across the US and is the leading contractor for solar energy projects under 25 MWs. RP CEO, Eb Russell said, “We have more than tripled the size of our company with their products over the past three years, and we look forward to continuing that growth with this agreement.”
The deal will provide an immediate boon to Array’s American market presence which, as of June 30, 2020, sat at 14 GW, representing nearly 30 per cent of the total utility-scale solar generation capacity installed in the US. The company also signed an agreement to supply trackers for 1.5 GW of projects across the US with Lightsource BP in December 2019.
“The endorsement of the segment-leading contractor for distributed energy projects underscores both the strength of our product offering and the value our trackers can create for projects of all sizes. The small-utility, municipal, medium-sized commercial and community solar markets are growing rapidly, and collaborating with RPCS to address this segment of the market should further accelerate our growth in the U.S. I am also pleased that this order follows on the Lightsource bp purchase agreement announced earlier this month, making it the second order over 1 GW that we have received in the past 30 days,” said Jim Fusaro, Chief Executive Officer of Array.
According to the company’s S-1 filing, made prior to this fall’s initial public offering: “Array Technologies uses less than one motor per megawatt which compares with more than 25 motors per megawatt for our largest competitor. Using fewer motors per megawatt lowers the cost, reduces the number of failure points, and minimizes the maintenance requirements of our system. Fewer motors per megawatt also reduces the number of motor controllers and the amount of wiring and other ancillary parts that are required for the system, which further reduces cost, simplifies installation and improves reliability.” These savings work out to be a reported 7 per cent lower lifetime cost for asset owners, as well as 31 per cent lower lifetime operations and maintenance cost than other competing trackers, according to Array. The trackers also use the company’s machine-learning software platform to more effectively optimize tracking, a tool which the company claims can boost energy generation by up to 5 per cent.
REGlobal’s Views: Different tracker vendors have different engineering approaches and Array’s one motor per-MW design has allowed for significant price reductions, enabling the company to reach its market share. This latest 1 GW contract will definitely help it inch much closer to its bigger peers.