New solar production line opens at third-generation factory
that has invented products for ranchers and rodeos for nearly 60 years
— Yezin Taha, founder and CEO of Nevados
MOUNT PLEASANT, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, November 16, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — An East Texas factory with deep roots supplying the farm, ranch and rodeo markets has added a new line of business thanks in part to new tax credits that reward American-made solar power.
Priefert Steel, a third-generation family company that bills itself as “America’s #1 Name in Ranch & Rodeo,” has begun manufacturing Nevados’ all-terrain solar mounting and tracking equipment at the Priefert factory in Mount Pleasant, two-and-a-half hours east of Dallas.
The Nevados tracking system allows solar panels to be placed on naturally hilly terrain without having to flatten the site with bulldozers and dump trucks. The trackers then automatically tilt the solar panels to follow the sun over the course of the day.
Priefert was founded by a Navy veteran who returned to the family farm after World War II and invented labor-saving devices inspired by the machinery he’d worked with in the service. Marvin Priefert began manufacturing headgates for moving cattle in 1964.
“Priefert invented the first front-opening cattle headgate and has been on the forefront of steel fabrication innovation ever since,” said Rocky Christenberry, Priefert’s Vice President of Manufacturing, who has over 40 years in the business himself. “We’re proud of our factory with 23 acres under one roof, and our focus on high-precision steel manufacturing. The Nevados focus on design innovation in all-terrain trackers makes us great natural partners.”
The new line of business is an example of how bonus tax credits for domestic content under the federal Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 have helped create more solar manufacturing jobs in small-town America. Mount Pleasant, population 16,000, is the county seat of Titus County, where other leading industries are livestock farms and ranches, lignite mining, and timber.
In addition to launching this factory, Nevados has continued to expand its client base in the United States. By the close of 2023, Nevados will have contracted for enough trackers to supply about 1.5 gigawatts of solar generating capacity in the US, with both existing and new strategic client partners such as Ampliform, Cupertino Electric Inc., BlueWave, Cogent Renewables, CS Energy, Cupertino Electric, Inc., D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI), Energix Renewables, Nexamp, Primoris Services Corporation, and SOLV Energy.
Trackers made at the Priefert factory, from American-made steel, are expected to help developers and owner-operators qualify for bonus tax credits for domestic content.
Final rules are still pending from the Internal Revenue Service for these domestic content “adders,” worth up to 10 percentage points on top of the Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit under Section 45X of the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), as well as the Investment Tax Credit and Production Tax Credit used by developers and owner-operators.
When Congress passed the IRA in August 2022, the Solar Energy Industries Association predicted that its domestic content provisions would result in a “flood of investment” in American manufacturing capacity. Companies have announced billions of dollars worth of investments, some now starting to come online.
Draft federal rules released this May call for 100% domestic content for basic iron-and-steel products, and at least 40% for manufactured products, escalating to 55% for projects beginning construction after 2026, to claim the bonus tax credits.
In addition, “Domestic supply chains can be both more robust and more efficient, such as by reducing shipping times and associated carbon emissions and pollution,” said Yezin Taha, founder and CEO of Nevados.
Buying as much domestic equipment as is available now helps prepare solar developers for a future when more U.S. solar module capacity has come online, Taha said, making high percentages of domestic content and the bonus tax credits more achievable.
And, buying domestically creates new jobs at the U.S. factories, which benefits the communities that host them.
Nevados is able to support its clients whatever their domestic content strategy, Taha said. It offers either internationally sourced equipment, or levels of domestic content up to 90%, at varying price points—all while continuing to expand its U.S. manufacturing capacity to reach 100% domestic content.
Nevados is the premier solar tracker company for PV power plants built on sloped and rolling terrain. We offer innovative all-terrain trackers paired with a comprehensive software suite in an integrated technology platform that optimizes solar performance, improves plant reliability and respects the natural landscape. Headquartered in Oakland, California and backed by institutional capital, Nevados is transforming utility-scale PV deployment with our tracking solutions and partnership approach. Our mission is to pioneer sustainable solar solutions to preserve the earth for today and for tomorrow. To learn more, please visit www.nevados.solar.
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