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California solar tracker developer Nevados wins USD 3m of research funds

Solar modules. Author: Marco Bellucci. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Aug 23 (Renewables Now) - Nevados Engineering, a San Francisco-based company developing single-axis solar trackers suitable for all kinds of terrain, said Tuesday it has been awarded USD 3 million (EUR 2.5m) of research funds from state and federal agencies.

The funding includes almost USD 2 million from the US Department of Energy's (DoE) SunShot Initiative and USD 1 million in matching funds from the California Energy Commission (CEC).

Nevados Engineering, a portfolio company of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), says its tracker allows solar farms to be built without the need for land excavation or grading. According to co-founder and chief executive Yezin Taha, the company's solution alleviates the cost of grading and time intensive construction schedules, while also improving investment returns through intelligent tracking and installation on sun-facing slopes.

The awards will be used to fund the next 18 months of the company's development activities, which will include demonstrating its intelligent tracking software and reducing manufacturing costs by around  50%.

Thanks to a previous SunShot award, Nevados Engineering has designed, built and is currently testing full-scale rows of the tracker system on simulated rolling terrain near Davis, California. The four rows of 20 modules each have been operating over the last year.

The firm also says it has secured a contract for an 8.4-MW utility-scale solar project that will begin next year.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.849)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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