Soltec to open a new tracker factory in Brazil

Spain’s Soltec Renewable Energies has announced a new factory in the Brazilian state of Bahia, which will be able to produce enough single-axis trackers to support 300 MW of solar installations annually.

With its existing facilities in Spain and China, this will bring the tracker maker to 1.5 GW of capacity. The company says that the new factory will “cater to the high demand of the country and the rest of South America”.

The company says that it has signed a lease and that the facility is in place, and expects to begin producing trackers in October.

This will make Soltec the latest company to begin manufacturing in Brazil, following SunEdison’s announcement that it will make modules in Brazil earlier this month, and BYD’s May announcement that it will build a factory in the nation.

Some factories are already coming online. In late August, Globo Brasil inaugurated a PV module factory with an annual capacity of 180 MW in the state of São Paulo.

Soltec is participating in Brazil’s auction processes, and says that it is competing for “several hundred megawatts”. In late August Brazil completed its second reverse auction for PV projects, awarding over 800 MW of projects.

Soltec also claims leadership in the Chilean tracker market. Globally, the company has installed trackers on five solar PV projects totaling 350 MW during the last 18 months, and Soltec plans to manufacture and install from 600-800 MW of trackers in 2016.

Tracker deployment is growing rapidly. While trackers were used on only 11% of utility-scale PV capacity deployed in 2013, IHS expects this to rise to 20% this year.