As Korean dignitaries and energy reporters gathered at Mission Solar Energy’s “Solarbration” to mark the debut of the country’s first n-type solar panel manufacturing plant last week, another San Antonio solar manufacturing player quietly opened its doors: Sun Action Trackers.
The New Energy Economy partner of CPS Energy builds and assembles dual axis trackers, components in solar arrays that allow solar cells to gather the maximum amount of light for conversion to solar energy. The trackers literally follow the sun, tilting not only left and right, but up and down. Keeping the panels aligned with the solar azimuth, or maximum angle for solar energy collection, allows for maximum efficiency in collecting solar energy.
The trackers will be utilized in OCI Solar Power’s Alamo 5, 6 and 7 solar farms, which will bring another 370 MW of solar power to our community. CPS Energy buys all the output from those farms.
At Sun Action Tracker’s 38,0000-square foot facility on Thousand Oaks Drive, the Korean delegation that earlier had visited Mission Solar at Brooks City Base on the city’s South Side ventured north to see how the 22-foot-tall devices that support the hefty solar arrays are assembled.
Sun Action Trackers President and CEO Kimoo Heo led OCI Solar Power LTD Chairman Soo-Young Lee and others on an informal tour of the plant, then addressed the Sun Action Trackers team at the warehouse. Heo thanked the 70 employees for their hard work bringing the tracker technology to Texas.
Christina Aronhalt, executive director of Keep San Antonio Beautiful, also spoke, lauding the new addition to the solar manufacturing scene, adding “they really walk the talk” of sustainability.
Keep San Antonio Beautiful and Sun Action Trackers also announced a cooperative agreement to form an environmental committee comprised of members of both organizations to work on sustainability efforts.
Following speeches and presentations, guests toured the massive warehouse where welders and other team members shared their expertise, demonstrating how each component is crafted out of steel and shaped into the massive stands that support the trackers.
“This is just the beginning,” said Raiford Smith, CPS Energy’s vice president of corporate development and planning, pointing to the “significant investment” by Korean, German and other companies in San Antonio’s growing solar energy economy. “This is the fruit of that investment.”