Solar FlexRack®, a division of Northern States Metals, is an integrated solar company that offers custom-designed, fixed tilt ground mount and single-axis solar tracking systems in the commercial and utility scale, solar mounting industry. Solar FlexRack also offers full turnkey packages, including engineering, geotechnical, pull testing, field, layout, and installation services to address the actual site conditions of an installation. We provide a full scope of services from design to delivery and installation. Solar FlexRack has completed more than 1.7 GW of solar racking installations in 32 states across America and five countries globally.
Our Deep Industrial Roots Deliver Bankability
Our parent company, Northern States Metals (NSM), began operations in 1972, primarily as a provider of custom-engineered aluminum extrusions. Recognizing a demand for value-added services, NSM opened its first fabrication facility in 1990 and began offering fully finished, fabricated and assembled parts to customers in a diversified set of industries such as automotive, lighting, telecommunications, military, and medical. In 1997, NSM opened its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility which allowed the company to house manufacturing, engineering, quality control, IT, sales, and customer service under one roof. This facility has allowed the company to expand and gain vendor approval from major manufacturers. NSM’s custom extrusions are generally highly engineered essential components for niche applications, typically for a specific product or brand of product. NSM deploys strong engineering, manufacturing and customer service capabilities to help blue chip customers across a broad range of industries solve complex manufacturing and design issues.
NSM serves over 30 industries, including renewable energy and electric vehicles.
Our Expertise in the Metals Industry Led to the Development of the Solar FlexRack
For nearly four decades, NSM developed significant engineering skills and quality control standards by working with customers on technical design and fabricating jobs. NSM often works closely with customers to identify the optimal solution for their requirements, combining its engineering capabilities with a comprehensive set of value-added service offerings.
It is this designing and operating expertise that NSM applied in developing the first Solar FlexRack® racking system. Solar FlexRack® was developed by NSM engineers in early 2009 at the initial request of several customers in the alternative energy sector. Customers were unsatisfied with the commercially available solar racking systems on the market, and NSM felt it could deliver a better solution given its experience with developing innovative solutions for complex projects. The NSM team of engineers took the challenge to create a more efficient and cost-effective design and what they came up with was revolutionary. The company built a unique, factory pre-assembled unfolding racking design that drastically reduced labor and installation costs in the field.
Our engineers were able to identify the optimal combination of steel and aluminum that would provide the lightest possible rack while maintaining maximum strength. The initial Solar FlexRack® racking system allowed customers to reduce installation time in the field by an estimated 75% in order to recognize significant installation time and cost savings.
We Continue to be the Leader in Solar Innovations to Reduce Costs
Our innovations in the solar industry began with our first solar racking system, but they did not stop there.
We next discovered a need for clips to fit the variety of modules in the industry. Our engineers developed designs to customize clips for any framed or frameless module in a range of module thicknesses. Our clips have been certified by several of the biggest module suppliers in the industry.
In 2011, we recognized the need for a more efficient and cost effective tracker solution in the market place. We acquired the design rights to a single axis tracker solution and again our team of engineers came up with innovative new design features to increase the overall functionality – all at a much lower overall balance of system cost as well.
We continue to be the leaders in innovation in the industry, consistently introducing new developments into the marketplace. In 2014, Solar FlexRack launched its X Series racking system, which has lowered the overall project costs by leaps and bounds. In 2015, we rolled up all of our testing and field learnings to upgrade and cost-reduce our tracker technology, which lead to the introduction of the Solar FlexRack TDPTM Turnkey Tracker. What makes this offering so robust is the inclusion of a powerful services package to fully support developers and EPCs and ensure that their solar projects are successfully installed on time and trouble-free.
We Offer Turnkey Packages Including Complete Design Engineering & Solar Mounting Services
In 2012, we realized that not only did we have the best racking system in the industry, but our designers, engineers and technical staff had the most expertise not just in designing racking systems, but also in designing and installing solar projects. We felt that we could provide even more value for our clients. So, we embarked on a process of adding value-added services and becoming the trusted advisor for all geotechnical reporting, push/pull testing, and field services, in addition to providing world-class mounting systems. We hired several additional key technical team members that were the best in the industry and we are now one of the leading engineering services and solar mounting companies in North America.
Solar FlexRack’s engineering team continues to develop and improve on our service offerings. We have invested heavily in human resources to ensure that your projects are trouble-free and successful. The team includes geotechnical, structural, electrical, civil and mechanical engineers and specialists who possess extensive solar experience. Our team has designed solar foundations in climates from Alaska to the Caribbean and has special training in conditions where frost is a critical factor. Solar FlexRack’s engineers use sophisticated testing systems providing precision data and meticulously analyze that data to deliver the most accurate numbers. With Solar FlexRack there is no guessing or estimating what your system requirements are. We methodically determine exactly what you need based on your overall soil and site conditions and your geographic location. That translates into confidence in the integrity of our solar system designs and assurance that our systems are the most cost-efficient foundation and racking solution for our clients.
Custom Solar Trackers & Racking
Since no two solar projects are alike, Solar FlexRack offers a wide range of custom pre-assembled and unassembled utility and commercial ground mount systems, as well as single axis solar tracking systems. In fact, our large-scale commercial and utility projects are the cornerstone of our business. We design and manufacture our solutions to your specifications, from geotechnical design to quick assembly, commissioning, and ongoing operations and maintenance.
Solar FlexRack Preferred Installer Program
Solar FlexRack’s Preferred Installer Program ensures our customers that their solar projects will be properly and efficiently installed. The program provides customers with installation partners who are familiar with Solar FlexRack products, have been well trained by our staff, and have a track record of performing successful installations.
Megawatts & Mega Products
With over 1.5 GWs of solar trackers and racking installed, Solar FlexRack is a trusted partner of solar developers, EPCs and installers across North America.
OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM
Driving reliability in project success and reducing our customers’ project costs are the key directives of the Solar FlexRack team, which is led by our accomplished senior leadership.