Array Technologies, a manufacturer of single-axis solar tracker solutions and services for utility-scale solar energy projects, entered into an agreement with Lock Joint Tube, a manufacturer of mechanical and structural-grade steel tubing, to secure supply from a new steel mill in Texas dedicated to manufacturing utility-scale solar tubing.
Located in Temple, Texas, where Lock Joint Tube has established operations, the new mill will use locally sourced steel to produce solar torque tubing in response to domestic content requirements in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The collaboration between the two companies will create new manufacturing jobs and use automation technology in production.
“Lock Joint Tube’s newest mill will provide Array with domestic tubing under the IRA, which our customers are demanding in this high-growth market for utility-scale solar,” said Kevin Hostetler, CEO at Array Technologies. “This investment in American manufacturing will provide jobs aligned with the renewable energy market to the local community, boost the integrity of the domestic solar supply chain and support Array’s continued expansion in the U.S., including in Texas and throughout the central U.S.”
Lock Joint Tube supplies steel tubing for solar panels and also provides torque tubing for tracker systems. Array hopes that partnering with established steel suppliers around will mitigate supply chain challenges.
“Our collaboration with Array Technologies advances our market leadership in serving the evolving needs of the U.S. solar power and solar manufacturing sectors,” said Kevin Marks, president at Lock Joint Tube. “By utilizing domestically sourced steel, Lock Joint Tube enables our customers to maximize domestic steel content, which has become essential to the expansion of clean, renewable energy throughout the country underpinned by a growing U.S.-based supply chain.”
A ribbon cutting for the facility was held on June 28 in Temple. Lock Joint Tube also produces tubing for Array at a steel torque tube mill in South Bend, Indiana.