Steel Ecosystem

Origami Solar partners with world-class steel suppliers and roll-forming fabricators to create a domestic, transparent, decarbonized, and secure supply chain. Origami’s strategic steel ecosystem is scaling to meet the steel frame needs of solar module manufacturers, utilities, and solar project developers both in the US and Europe today, followed by the rest of the world.

The current supply chain for traditional aluminum frames presents enormous risks to US, European, and Indian-based module manufacturers and their customers. The solar industry is almost entirely dependent on China for aluminum frames. Shipping itself is risky and expensive and delays caused by shipping back-ups, weather/climate slow-downs, armed threats or trade disputes add cost and aggravate a long 45 to 55-day supply chain. Relying on Chinese exports to rebuild our domestic solar module manufacturing industry is a risky proposition.

Origami’s domestic steel supply chain eliminates the risks and costs of importing aluminum frames, delivering traceability, transparency, and peace-of-mind for project owners and everyone across the solar value chain. The continuous fabrication process for steel frames requires less manufacturing time and space and is inherently more cost effective than aluminum extrusion. By working closely with our fabrication partners, we have optimized high-speed roll-forming processes to deliver frames with the flexibility and responsiveness that module manufacturers demand. Better yet, our steel frames and regional steel ecosystem partnerships eliminate frame based GHG emissions, create jobs, build strong local industries, and domestic content qualifies for IRA tax credits in the United States as well as other regional incentives.

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Origami Solar has spent years perfecting its steel frame designs and optimizing its manufacturing processes. Alongside our best-in-class steel ecosystem partners, we are moving into commercialization.

The combined expertise and resources of Origami and its strategic steel ecosystem partners empower us to turn superior frame value into available capacity more quickly than anyone else.

Together with our steel ecosystem partners we have:

  • Fully tested and validated steel alloy and anti-corrosive coating choices
    With our engineering team, our steel suppliers have been instrumental in sourcing recycled steel products and zinc-aluminum-magnesium coatings appropriate for durable solar module steel frames that outperform aluminum.Our steel partners in the US and European are delivering recycled steel coil products that are amongst the most sustainable steel products in the world. Their zinc-aluminum-magnesium coatings deliver industry-validated and accepted corrosion resistance.

  • Optimized frame designs for manufacturing
    By collaborating with the world’s leading roll-forming fabricators, Origami Solar has optimized our frame designs to align with high-speed roll-forming manufacturing processes and machinery to produce a superior solar module frame domestically at scale.
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Supply Growth and Reliability

By partnering with the industry’s pre-eminent steel fabricators located at multiple sites across the US and Europe, Origami Solar is establishing the capacity needed to meet robust industry demand while delivering supply chain redundancy and reliability to deliver assurance of supply to PV module manufacturers. As the business grows, Origami will work with partners to add lines and locations to increase capacity and meet future demand. Our supply chain structure is also repeatable in many other regions of the world where steel manufacturing and roll-forming fabrication are mature and available.

US frame manufacturing locations map

Origami Solar current US frame manufacturing locations

Rolled steel production line image. Photo courtesy of US Steel.
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Origami Solar’s domestic steel supply chain provides immense value for customers and partners alike. Our supply chain is transparent and auditable. It qualifies for domestic content incentives in the US. It dramatically shortens supply cycles to 1-2 days and reduces inventory requirements that are required from a supply chain based halfway around the world.

It reduces costs due to logistics as well as the fundamental lower cost of steel versus aluminum and with scale will drive costs even lower over time. Aluminum and aluminum frame costs are mature and subject to carbon taxes as well as anti-dumping and countervailing duty tariffs. Steel is inherently regional, lower cost, and steel frames are at the beginning of an exciting cost-volume reduction curve.

Our domestic steel supply chain also eliminates risk. No trade dispute, high risk shipping routes or backed-up ports will keep our customers from getting the steel solar frames they need. Our domestic steel supply chain will never become a trade issue.

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Companies of all types are under immense pressure to decarbonize. Origami Solar’s strategic steel ecosystem is key to reaching these goals across the value chain. According to a rigorous, data-driven third-party study, Origami recycled steel frames can save over 90% of carbon emissions from imported aluminum frames created in coal-powered factories. We are working closely with the Ultra Low-Carbon Solar Alliance (ULCSA) and other industry experts to promote the significant GHG savings achieved through a switch to domestic steel module frames.

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Interested in finding out more about Origami Solar’s domestically-supplied steel frames or supply chain?