10 million euros for the future
The European Green Deal is clear, by 2050, the EU should have zero net greenhouse gas emissions. By doing that comes an era of increased focus on cleaner energy and breakthrough technological innovations in that area.
‘Turn anything into a solar panel’. That’s Soltech’s slogan. And they mean it literally. Since 1989, the company has focused on integrating solar cells on just about any support: from facade panels, roof tiles, parts of cars or trucks to bicycle paths… Each application can be performed off grid, or grid connected. The possibilities are endless.
The investment in a state-of-the-art factory and offices allows Soltech to focus on the ever-increasing demand for these innovations. Soltech wants to become the supplier in Europe and beyond or area of product development, prototyping of innovative photovoltaic module technologies. To this end, the company is investing 10 million euros in a brand-new building, of which 5 million will go to the machinery
Managing director Bas van de Kreeke makes no secret about the firm’s ambitious plans: “Soltech’s mission is very clear: We want to give energy to things. To the future. Any surface that receives sunlight can generate energy. And although innovation is one of our important pillars, the use of the technology has long since ceased to be innovative. It makes both economic and technical sense. With the construction of our new plant, we will be able to present an even more interesting case price-wise.”
From left to right, from Tienen to Genk
The investment program includes an expansion and an optimization of production capacity by building a 4,000m² production hall with state-of-the-art machinery, construction of a modern office building with 3 floors of approximately 325m² each. All nicely integrated into the environment. The new company building will immediately become a showroom for Soltech’s products. There will be integrated solar panels in the facade of the building, solar panels on canopies and balustrades and, of course, on the roofs. The new site also provides additional employment, because in addition to the 15 employees who are moving from Tienen to Genk, 10 new colleagues will be employed. The new machines and the larger space together provide an increase in the production capacity of as much as 400%.
Soltech is also the very first private company to build on Thor Park. Mayor Dries: “We are extremely excited to welcome a company, that will help shape the future of our society, to Genk. Soltech will certainly have a pull effect on other companies eager to establish themselves in the sustainable and innovative environment of Thor Park.
The design of the new offices and production hall is by Mamu architects from Hasselt. For the execution, Soltech is counting on the expertise of construction company Mathieu Gijbels
“We are proud to be trusted by Soltech, another big resounding name within the construction industry whose building dreams we get to fulfill” says Griet Keersmaekers Development Manager at Mathieu Gijbels. “Today the first solar panel is being installed, we connected this panel to a camera, where we can closely follow the works live. By doing so, we gave the official starting shot of the works. Energy neutral, as it should be for a project like this.”
In May, the production hall will be completed, and the first panels will roll off the belt. The construction works will be completely finished in the spring of 2023. By then the entire company can start the move from Tienen to Genk.