Global solar tracker shipments grow 32% in 2017

Seguidor solar Soltec/Soltec solar tracker

According to new data from GTM Research, global solar tracker shipments hit a record 14.5 GW in 2017. This represents growth of 32 percent year-over-year. The data comes from GTM Research’s new report, Global Solar PV Tracker Market Shares and Shipments 2018.

The report notes that NEXTracker maintained its spot at the top of the shipment rankings, accounting for a third of all solar PV trackers sold worldwide in 2017. Array Technologies Inc. also maintained its position, ranking second; while First Solar Inc. was usurped this year by Spain’s Soltec Renewable SL, which grew to become the third largest tracker supplier. Arctech Inc. and Convert Italia SpA, meanwhile, swapped positions, coming in fourth and fifth, respectively.

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For the first time, Latin America was the largest market for solar trackers, followed closely by the United States. Mexico and Brazil are two of the fastest-growing solar markets in the world, each accounting for over 1.5 GW of tracker shipments in 2017. The U.S. utility-scale market was significantly stunted last year due to tariff uncertainty, so it took a back seat to Latin America.

In spite of strong growth, GTM Research expects to see continued consolidation in the industry. The report notes that vendor margins continue to compress as the market grows, making profitable growth a challenge. There has already been one significant acquisition in 2018, with steel giant ArcelorMittal acquiring Exosun in January.

However, analysts at GTM Research remain optimistic and expect 30 percent growth in 2018, with shipments approaching 20 GW.

Source: GTM Research