Solon ends production in Berlin and opens new office

It is the end of an era: Solon officially ended production of its solar modules in Berlin Adlershof on Wednesday this week.

“We have been winding down production for the past two weeks," said a company spokeswoman in reply to questions from pv magazine. The photovoltaic manufacturers announced back in March they would be closing their Berlin location at the end of April due to a lack of profitability.

In future, the company’s main office will be with the parent company Microsol in the Emirate of Fujairah, UAE.

Solon was founded in Berlin in 1997 and, in the course of insolvency in 2012, bought up by the Arab-Indian group, Mircosol International LL FZE. A large module production facility was subsequently set up in Fujairah using German know-how. Solon modules will continue to be manufactured there in the future.

A majority of the 150 Berlin employees are now out of a job. This was confirmed to the news agency dpa by IG Metall. The blame rests not only with the company, but is also political. Redundancy package negotiations had been progressing reasonably well and Solon had acted properly as an employer, said an IG Metall spokesman. Solon, however, does not want to completely give up on Berlin as a location.

"A new office with 25 employees will open in the Neukölln district of Berlin," the company spokeswoman continued. Employees would continue to attend mainly to the handling of the production and sales of solar modules. The new office is directly affiliated to the Italian Solon SpA, which mainly takes care of sales in Europe, as evidenced by a letter to customers. Meanwhile, Solon solar modules will continue to be produced on its Greifswald site – but only in small quantities.

Translated by Kevin Campbell