Introducing NX Horizon-XTR: Terrain following solar tracker unlocks deployment on challenging sites
As solar power project opportunities expand into new regions and availability of once-ubiquitous flat land becomes increasingly rare, project developers are turning to sites with sloping and undulating terrain. This presents unique risks and challenges for developers, who must employ costly, environmentally impactful grading and increased foundation steel, which can challenge the economics of otherwise attractive solar projects.
The “business as usual” approach to dealing with undulating terrain includes careful selection of tracker-row locations, performing cut-and-fill grading and increasing foundation pile lengths. While proven, this approach limits system size, increases construction costs and creates schedule risk. Accuracy of cost and schedule estimates for grading activities are a known challenge, due to the possibility of unexpected soil conditions, weather delays and re-vegetation challenges. Soil disturbance from earthwork can also introduce soil erosion issues over the lifetime of the project.
Working closely with our partners in response to this challenge, Nextracker has developed a new variation of NX Horizon which breaks the paradigm of the “straight-line row” design constraint. Introducing NX Horizon-XTR™, a terrain-following tracker which reduces earthwork and steel use by conforming to the existing ups and downs of north-south ground slope undulations. NX Horizon-XTR shares the underlying mechanical and control system technology with our field-proven NX Horizon tracker, to ensure complete reliability and immediate acceptance by independent engineers.
NX Horizon-XTR has been deployed on over 3 GW of cumulative projects, with more projects under construction or in late-stage development in the U.S. and elsewhere.
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