US solar tracker manufacturer Nextracker and BCI Steel, a steel fabricator based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, announced the reopening of the century-old Bethlehem Steel factory in nearby Leetsdale to produce solar trackers for large-scale solar power plants.
BCI Steel Plant Engineer, Rob Sweet on the new fabrication line in Leetsdale, Pennsylvania
The steel processing plant will incorporate both BCI Steel's new and reshored equipment shipped to the U.S. from Malaysia and Brazil. Solar trackers produced at the factory will be supplied to the growing solar markets in Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, and Ohio.
With additional capacity in Pittsburgh, Nextracker is building out 10 GW of U.S.-made manufacturing capacity.
This is the third solar tracker facility Nextracker has commissioned with a steel manufacturer in 2022 after the company announced new factories in Texas and Arizona in April and May.
Earlier this year, Nextracker opened a green steel tracker production line in Texas with JM Steel, and another dedicated steel production line in Arizona with Atkore. Under this reshoring initiative, Nextracker has already procured over 100,000 tons of U.S.-made steel so far this year, enough for approximately 5 GW of solar trackers.
"BCI Steel's Pittsburgh factory enables the quick-ship response times we need to meet booming demand from our customers in the Mid-Atlantic and Heartland regions," said Dan Shugar, CEO and Founder of Nextracker.
The newly reopened Pittsburgh factory is ideally situated with proximity to river and rail transport in a location steeped in manufacturing history. The factory lies on the same grounds where steel fabricators built materials for tank landing ships (LSTs) during WWII.