NEX­Tracker, a designer and builder of single-​​axis PV track­ers, just got bought by Flex­tron­ics for $330 mil­lion, includ­ing an $85 mil­lion earnout.

Flex­tron­ics said in a release, “The addi­tion of the leading-​​edge NEX­Tracker busi­ness, along with its chair­man and CEO, Dan Shugar, and his team, will fur­ther expand Flex’s solar capa­bil­i­ties in com­mer­cial­iz­ing smart and con­nected energy technologies.”

This is CEO Dan Shugar’s sec­ond major solar acqui­si­tion. He helmed Pow­erlight when it sold to Sun­Power in the early days of solar. Nancy Pfund, an investor in NEX­Tracker at DBL Investors, was also an investor in Pow­erlight when she worked at JPMorgan.

NEX­Tracker will oper­ate as a sub­sidiary, keep­ing its brand under the lead­er­ship of Shugar.

Under the terms of the agree­ment, the ini­tial cash con­sid­er­a­tion will be approx­i­mately $245 mil­lion, net of cash acquired, with an addi­tional $85 mil­lion of poten­tial con­tin­gent con­sid­er­a­tion upon achieve­ment of future per­for­mance tar­gets,” accord­ing to a release.

Last year, NEX­Tracker announced a $25 mil­lion B round led by new investor SJF Ven­tures, along with Ten­nen­baum Cap­i­tal Part­ners and exist­ing investors Sigma Part­ners and DBL Investors.

NEX­Tracker CEO Shugar left the CEO posi­tion at Solaria to spin out the tracker firm in 2013 after a year of incu­ba­tion within the PV mod­ule maker.

Shugar told GTM in a pre­vi­ous inter­view, “I don’t know any­one who has ramped a com­pany as fast as we have.”

He said, “We deliv­ered about 275 megawatts in 2014…but this year will be well north of 1 gigawatt.” He also told GTM that pro­duc­tion capac­ity is being ramped to 200 megawatts per month. The track­ers can be built in the U.S., Asia and Europe, with mul­ti­ple sup­pli­ers in each prod­uct category.

That man­u­fac­tur­ing struc­ture makes Flex a common-​​sense choice for acquirer.

Nancy Pfund, a part­ner at DBL Investors and a board mem­ber at NEX­Tracker, told GTM, “As we’ve seen over the past year or two, solar hard­ware is hav­ing an invest­ment moment. Any com­pa­nies that drive down costs and/​or increase per­for­mance (think Zep and Silevo) are in a posi­tion to be attrac­tive as the indus­try grows and indus­try play­ers look for ways to increase sys­tem prof­itabil­ity. NEX­Tracker fits squarely in this space, as track­ing sys­tems can boost the eco­nom­ics of ground-​​mount solar farms in a sig­nif­i­cant way”

Pfund added, “Every­one knows that the global PV indus­try is grow­ing fast, but many peo­ple don’t know that utility-​​scale sys­tems are grow­ing fastest, and that track­ers are one of the fastest-​​growing PV appli­ca­tions, with 17 per­cent of global PV installed on track­ers in 2013, pro­jected to grow to 27 per­cent for 2017. In fact, NEX­Tracker is one of the fastest-​​growing com­pa­nies in our portfolio.”

Shugar notes, “NEXTracker’s unim­peded row design also pro­vides valu­able cost sav­ings for panel clean­ing in the dusty Chilean desert, and min­i­mizes site-​​grading requirements.”