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The solar coatings plant of Covestro in the Netherlands today celebrates its 10th anniversary. What started with the development of an innovative coating prototype more than 10 years ago, has turned today into a unique business story: The story of a Dutch materials company supplying glass makers around the world with coatings that increase the energy-efficiency of solar panels up to 4%.
The R&D teams of Solar Coating Solutions booked their first successes back in 2005 with the development of a new and innovative anti-reflective coating, which could be used in different applications. Around 2010, however, the solar industry worldwide started to emerge and turned into a business opportunity with a huge market demand and growth potential. This was the trigger for the decision to build a dedicated production plant for solar glass coatings in the Netherlands, more specifically on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen.
With the solar photovoltaic industry growing globally, the Solar Coatings Business also spread its wings and installed teams in China and the US. Thanks to smart decision taking, to the expertise of its business development teams in the regions and to the excellent performance and quality of its solar glass coatings, the Netherlands’ plant today remains the largest independent producer outside China. Additionally, during the past 10 years the solar glass coatings product portfolio developed from a ‘one fits all solution’ to a highly diversified offering.
Robert von Beulwitz, Managing Director of the Solar Coating Solution, explains: ʺToday we offer, amongst others, combined anti-reflective and anti-soiling coatings for modules used in desert environments, high power coatings for large utility scale solar parks and special aesthetic coatings for pitch black appearance of solar panels mounted on residential rooftops – mainly in the Netherlands. Our latest innovation being the development and commercialisation of a retrofit coating application for older solar parcs. With the expansion of the industry and of our portfolio, we also saw our employee base rising and I would like to thank each and every one of these colleagues for the relentless efforts they deliver every day!ʺ
“All these different solar coating products were developed in the Netherlands by listening to end market requirements around the world. And all of them are produced by employees in our production facility on the Brightlands Campus in Geleen. I am very proud about this story with which – from the Netherlands – we empower solar energy and harvest more energy from the sunʺ, adds Aukje Doornbos, Managing Director of Covestro in the Netherlands.