Nextracker And JM Steel Expand Production Lines In Pittsburgh, PA Region

An expanded partnership between the solar tracker and software firm and JM Steel in Leetsdale, PA more than doubles production capacity of clean energy technology equipment for Nextracker.

Nextracker, a global provider of intelligent solar tracker and software solutions, and JENNMAR Holdings subsidiary JM Steel, a premier steel processing provider, jointly announced the completion of a major expansion of Nextracker-dedicated manufacturing lines at JM Steel’s Leetsdale, PA steel facility achieving 4 GW of capacity.

Inaugurated and reopened in 2022, the refurbished historic factory produces critical steel components to support rising demand for solar energy across Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic, which employs thousands of construction workers across multiple states in the Midwest region.

JM Steel
Attendees at the April 26, 2024 ribbon-cutting at JM Steel in Leetsdale, PA as Nextracker CEO Dan Shug (at right) and Sol Systems CEO Yuri Horowitz (at left) speak about this latest production line expansion. (Photo: Nextracker)

Announced on April 26, the expansion of the manufacturing lines more than doubles the facility’s production capacity, now featuring cutting-edge technology including state-of-the-art solar tube lines with automated drilling and swedging. With this most recent expansion in Leetsdale, JENNMAR’s growth capital investment in support of the U.S. solar industry has exceeded $100 million over the last four years.

For Nextracker, this latest expansion also marks 20 new or expanded U.S. manufacturing partner facilities since 2021 and enables the company to provide over 25 GW of U.S. solar tracker capacity each year.

“We are thrilled to be partnered with JM Steel and celebrate the expansion of the Pittsburgh facility to serve customer demand. This facility is also expected to produce core components of our new low carbon tracker offering announced this week,” said Dan Shugar, Founder and CEO of Nextracker. “The U.S. solar market is continuing to demonstrate strong growth. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has forecasted solar to grow 26% on an annual compounded rate and be the number one source of energy in the U.S. within a decade.”

“We are proud to announce the expansion of this historic steel factory in Pittsburgh — which we have been honored to call our home for more than 100 years,” said Tony Calandra, CEO of JENNMAR. “This partnership with Nextracker allows for significant investment in advanced manufacturing and brings high-quality jobs back to our communities. We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring our Pennsylvania-based employee count to more than 500.”

Once the home of a steel mill used to build materials for tank landing ships during World War II, this refurbished facility represents one of many shifts underway in the U.S. toward domestic manufacturing, a secure supply chain, and clean energy. The Leetsdale steel factory tripled its capacity with the addition of new, dedicated manufacturing lines for solar energy projects creating 60 new manufacturing jobs.

Established in 2000, JM Steel has emerged as a premier steel processing provider in the U.S., with facilities in Pendergrass, GA, Sinton TX, Huger, SC, and Leetsdale, PA.

Last year, Nextracker opened a dedicated steel production line in Las Vegas with Unimacts, another in Memphis with MSS Steel Tubes USA, and a self-powered controller and high-voltage power supply line in California with Asteelflash. They have more production lines in Texas, Arizona, and Illinois.

“JENNMAR and Nextracker are in a powerful partnership focused on advancing the energy transition and American manufacturing. The future depends on leveraging a diverse portfolio of resources that addresses our environment, energy needs, and economic opportunity,” said Matt Smith, Chief Growth Officer at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. “This is a win at the convergence of two industries that are pivotal to southwestern Pennsylvania — energy and manufacturing — and we’re proud that our region is a key part of the supply chain that’s helping to bring more solar energy to the market.”

Check out all the latest news related to Pennsylvania economic development, corporate relocation, corporate expansion and site selection.

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