‘The fast installation prevents excessive costs’

OneSolar and sister company Agreco rent large roof surfaces in the agricultural and commercial sector for generating solar energy. They fit solar-energy systems and operate them for 20 years. “That’s why we select the best solar panels. And the best mounting systems, which we found at Esdec. A company that offers predictable quality, service and solutions for different roof types”, says Ton Kroef, Operational Manager at OneSolar.

There is a great deal of potential for solar energy on roofs in the Netherlands. Many of those available square meters in the sun are in the agricultural and logistics sectors. OneSolar and Agreco are interested in these commercial surfaces and rent roofs to mount solar panels on them. “The roof owner benefits from greater sustainability without investing, without risk and without the stress of having to choose a system. We do all the work. Each year we carry out many projects and our experience means we know the risks, so we can make the best choices. The landlord earns directly without first waiting on a payback period. And that means operating capital remains available for the client’s core activities. But he also benefits from a more sustainable image”, says Kroef. “And that enables our clients to practice good corporate social governance without investment.”

In 2015, Agreco started promoting its business model in the farming sector. Agricultural firms, especially pig and poultry farms, have large sheds on their land that are very well suited to ‘invest in’ solar panels. To compensate the use of the roof, the landlord gains a green(er) image and even benefits from asbestos removal. “The only thing the farmer pays us is the energy fees, which are equal to what he now pays”, adds Kroef. After the success of Agreco, the market beyond the agricultural sector is being entered and explored under the name OneSolar.

50,000 M2 SOLAR PANELS

In October, Agreco completed its largest project thus far: a solar-panel system on 50,000 m2 of roof at Groenvries BV in Rutten in the Noord-Oost polder, good for some 6 GigaWh/year energy yield. “We have fitted around 25,000 solar panels. Of high quality. The same goes for our mounting systems. It is a prerequisite for us that the installers are keen to work with Esdec mounting systems. The mounting systems are reliable, easy to fit and predictable. And that’s great for the team of installers and for us.”

TOTAL WORRY-FREE SOLUTIONS

A major plus point is also Esdec’s range. We supply mounting systems specifically designed for any type of roof: for flat roofs, sloping roofs and roofs of steel construction. The power of the design for the different
roofs is found in continual innovation and fast installation. “The clients we have fitted solar panels for don’t have to worry about these panels at all. And the same goes for the mounting systems. The quality is excellent and has been proven in practice. And that means not only that our clients are worry-free, but that we have no worries either. We have never found any of our mounting profiles breaking”, explains Kroef. The aim of OneSolar and Agreco is to install some 400,000 to 500,000 solar panels over the coming year. They’ll be needing around 100 hectares of roof for this purpose. And an astonishing amount of mounting profiles. Kroef: “We are going to be growing fast and getting a lot more sustainable. It’s great to be making that happen with such a great product as solar panels. Great to do business in a socially responsible way.”