NEXTracker, a Flex company, recently announced its acquisition of BrightBox Technologies, Inc., a leader in predictive modeling software and machine-learning technologies. This acquisition expands NEXTracker’s technology leadership and adds a first mover capability for advanced diagnostics and real-time control of solar tracking systems. The added capability will deliver accelerated commissioning time and increased energy yield of NEXTracker systems globally.
“This acquisition amplifies NEXTracker’s software engineering resources, including the addition of cofounders Allan Daly and Dr. Francesco Borrelli, a renowned expert in modeling and predictive control software systems,” said NEXTracker CEO Dan Shugar. “The team has a rich history in the optimization of complex energy efficiency systems, advanced control of autonomous vehicles, and development of other pioneering feedback-based software.” Shugar added, “This innovative platform builds on our existing wireless monitoring infrastructure that is being used to monitor the real-time angle and motor current of each and every tracker row we’ve deployed since 2013. With the enhanced capability we will be able to:
1) Optimize and actively manage energy production, incorporating smart grid requirements;
2) Further accelerate our rapid commissioning process and reduce costs associated with deploying new solar power plants; and
3) Provide more sophisticated and granular remote monitoring, control, and asset management through advanced analytics.”
“This acquisition furthers our strategy to enable smart and connected solutions for the renewable energy market,” said Scott Graybeal, SVP, Flex Energy Solutions. “By integrating the Intelligence of Things™ in our services and solutions, we will transition the dialogue from kilowatts to kilowatt hours and solar power plant cash flow gains.”
The new technology is being integrated with Flex’s Connected Intelligence™ platform, empowering NEXTracker’s global fleet (over 4 gigawatts spanning five continents) with a scalable and modern software stack for predictive control and performance optimization. The combined platform ensures secure, out-of-the-box high bandwidth communication from field sites to an industrial strength data infrastructure.
“We’re thrilled to join NEXTracker; the synergies between our teams and parent company Flex – in solar and systems optimization – are tremendous,” said BrightBox founder Rob Koch. “Our technology delivers automated commissioning and value optimization of high-value, industrial-scale application solar PV power plants.”