Array Tech And SPower Begin New Partnership
Array Technologies and sPower collaborated on the photovoltaic portion of the SEPV Mojave West project (California) that combined wind turbine generation with the latest PV technology. The 20 MW plant has been in operation since 2016.
Array Technologies, a leading provider of solar tracking technology, and sPower, the largest private owner of operating solar plants in the US, jointly announced that they have entered into a new partnership arrangement that will support the deployment of Array's solar trackers across sPower utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) projects in the United States. Array and sPower had previously worked together for four years on a variety of projects, establishing a successful track record that the companies have said they wanted to formalize as they move toward new US projects.
"The newly created partnership between Array Technologies and sPower is a testament to the strength and success of a matured-US solar market," observed Jeff Krantz, Senior Vice President at Array Technologies. "This deal represents a significant milestone for our company's continued robust growth throughout the nation."
Solar+Power Management editor Mark Andrews spoke with Krantz following the announcement regarding the companies' histories and plans for future developments.
"We had worked together on a number of projects in the 350-400 MW range over the course of the past four years. sPower is the owner of the finished plant, so it really is in their interest to choose partners and vendors that they believe deliver the best value. They do see value in working with (key vendors) on a long-term basis, which led to the agreement we announced today," he noted.
sPower, an AES and AIMCo corporation, owns and operates solar and wind generation plants with production capabilities in excess of 1.3 GW and has a development pipeline of more than 10 GW. Array Technologies has been supplying key solar plant mount and tracking systems for nearly three decades with trackers selected for more than 16 GW years of energy production.
Krantz noted that as larger scale PV projects in areas with high levels of solar irradiation continue to supplement power generation and distribution systems, finding ideal locations is becoming more challenging, which puts a focus on Array's in-service experience with many different layouts and topologies. "The days of finding those ideally-large, football field-shaped sites in North America are just not as prevalent as they were a few years ago, so optimizing layout and working with all types of sites is valuable," noted Krantz, who added that adjusting the layout to fit terrain and other variables in combination with tracking technology can significantly impact a plant's generation potential.
"Ordinarily, (PV plant) owners have not engaged directly with the vendor; this agreement points to the key value of the partnership: working for optimal efficiency. I think one key point is that the industry is going even more global"¦we have expanded our reach to get closer to customers, to their engineering and field teams, and we (appreciate) how to add greater value," Krantz noted. Array Technologies has expanded globally and for the first time in Australia beginning in 2016. Krantz said Array has now supported over a gigawatt of Australian plants with a similar number planned for 2018.
Array Technologies and sPower are currently working on what Krantz described as the largest PV plant under construction in the US, with plans to continually seek new opportunities.