Robotics solar panel cleaning firm SolarCleano is set to open an office in the US in September, to support growth in the North and and South American markets.
The firm was founded in 2018 as a joint initiative between Belgian cleaning company Voltanet and Luxembourg height safety firm FallProtec to tackle a growing demand for solar panel cleaning.
Its robotics engineers started out developing robotic solutions to help cleaning companies transition from manual to automatic cleaning of solar installations. More recently, however, the firm has pivoted to working with installation owners, manufacturers and energy providers, and working on large-scale solar projects.
“Over the past 10 years, the amount of solar products has boomed,” SolarCleano head of sales Romain Gourmet told Silicon Luxembourg.
“In an effort to have more energy independence, governments are pushing renewable energy, and the more they push solar, the more we grow with them.”
Active in around 65 countries, SolarCleano is involved in some of the world’s biggest solar plant projects. It currently operates 650 units and its rapidly expanding portfolio has equipped it with an expertise that positions the firm as a service provider and advisor.
“Our goal is to position ourselves as leaders in the global large scale solutions market and as advisors,” said Gourmet, and the San Diego office is part of this strategy.
“For us, the US is one of our biggest markets. We noticed shipping costs doubled compared to last year and delivery time increased: before we were able to ship in 3-4 days. Now it’s minimum 1-2 weeks,” the Belgian explained.
Located out of the Grass industrial zone close to the Belgian border, SolarCleano currently counts 30 staff, including its team of engineers and tech innovators.
The US office will enable the firm to store stock for US and South America customers. “SolarCleano will be 100% owned by SolarCleano Luxembourg and we will have a small team there,” Gourmet stresses, saying that Luxembourg operators have been critical for the firm’s growth.
In addition to support and introductions from Luxinnovation and the chamber of commerce, SolarCleano was part of the Luxembourg delegation at the World Expo in Dubai. “Thanks to this we signed a very big contract,” Gourmet said.