Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Supported by
Thank you! Your generous support will allow us to continue to 'Stay Connected'.

Ribbon cutting marks opening of a new solar factory in Las Vegas


A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Monday at a new manufacturing plant which makes a component that will increase the energy captured in utility-scale solar panels.

Unimacts factory, on West Tompkins Avenue, produces steel tubes that are used in Nextracker’s solar technology. COO Alan Hayes said this plant converts steel sheets into long tubes at a rate of three per minute.

“So, its gone from flat strip to a fully formed and welded tube,” he explained.

Sponsor Message

Founder and CEO Dan Shugar said movable solar panels significantly increase energy output.

“Nextracker produces systems that help solar panels follow the sun. In a similar way that a sunflower follows the sun to produce more energy. Having the solar panels aim at the sun produces, up to 30% more energy,” said Shugar.

According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, Nevada has more than115 solar companies supplying nearly 25% of the state’s solar electricity needs.

Solar companies are expanding with funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, aimed at supporting efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Residential solar will grow 6% on average over the next five years while non-residential solar will increase by 8%, according to the association. However, currently, consumer demand is cooling with, among other things, rising interest rates and inflation.

Yvette Fernandez is KNPR’s daily news reporter and announcer. She joined the station September 2021.