Solon to close down Berlin HQ

Solon will shift its global headquarters from Berlin to the United Arab Emirates, where Microsol, the company’s owner since 2012, is already based.

After toppling into bankruptcy in 2011 Solon – Germany’s first publicly listed solar company – was acquired by Microsol.

Although Microsol made no secret of its intention to shift most of Solon's module production to the Middle East, it also promised at the time of the acquisition to retain the vast majority of Solon’s workforce.

Today, however, Solon announced that it will shut its German headquarters -- set in a highly distinctive, solar-powered building on the outskirts of Berlin -- and lay off all 230 workers there.

“Our production facilities in the UAE allowed us to meet our customers’ cost expectations,” explains managing director Anjan Turlapati.

“While the German market continues to play a big role in our European strategy, emerging markets in Asia and Africa are becoming increasingly important,” Turlapati adds.

The European and North African markets will in future be served by a single distributor.

“Co-operative negotiation with our employees is our top priority in the coming weeks,” adds Lars Podlowski, German branch manager. “It is our goal to reach a fair agreement with the works council in this difficult situation.”

Solon, which made a name for itself in systems-integration in addition to module production, has been relatively quiet since Microsol's acquisition, although it has maintained a significant presence in the US market.

The last order the company made public – six months ago – was for a 2.2MW rooftop system in Romania.