The sun has been highly valued as an energy source for a long time. Even the ancient Egyptians paid homage to it, and exhibited initial approaches to its passive use. However, active and continuous developments in the use of solar energy have only been pursued since the end of the 20th century. This is also when alfasolar GmbH was founded - in 1993 to be precise.
For an environment worth living in
With its registered office in Hanover, the company specialises in the production and sales of innovative solar systems. As a module manufacturer, distributor and system supplier, alfasolar targets commercial customers such as fitters, solateurs, specialised trades people, investors and planners. The company’s activities focus on providing a sustainable, secure, environmentally friendly and economical energy supply. At alfasolar, efforts to protect the environment are not limited to its customers. 100% of the electricity for both the solar module plant in Sweden and the Hanover site comes from renewable energy sources.
Targeting international markets
In addition to the production and sales of modules and components for photovoltaic installations, alfasolar also offers consulting services and implements projects according to specific customer requirements. Maximising the energy output of the systems always takes centre stage. With great success: Over the last four years, the number of employees in Hanover alone has grown from 17 to 80. At the same time, alfasolar has developed international markets. Customers in Spain, Italy and Greece are supported by competent local representatives and customer services in Hanover. Now the company has taken the next step towards internationalisation with its first branch in France. “The site in France allows us to respond to the needs of local customers quickly and with great flexibility,” says Martin Denz, Managing Director of alfasolar GmbH, regarding the expansion. “Distributing sales across various markets is expedient, especially during difficult economic times.”
Tested and certified: Safe, environmentally friendly and of high quality
Photovoltaic modules from alfasolar feature outstanding quality with maximum energy output. Glass with a thickness of four millimetres provides reliable protection for the solar modules, even under extreme weather conditions. The innovative frame profile offers stability and reduces the build-up of dirt and snow – resulting in significantly higher energy output. Module production is inspected annually by TÜV Rheinland in order to assure continued compliance with the company’s own high quality standards. Production is subject to a certified quality management system (ISO 9001:2008) and environmental management system (ISO 14000:2004). The modules have also earned the IEC 61215 certificate and are classified in protection class II. IEC 61730 certification is pending completion.
Contribution by MBG and NKB
MBG invested in the company back in 2004. In order to strengthen its position for the future, alfasolar entered into a silent partnership with the Kapitalbeteiligungsgesellschaft Niedersachsen (NKB) private equity firm. The funds came from the “NBeteiligung” investment capital fund, which was established in 2009 and is managed by MBG. It is dedicated to acquisitions, consulting and support for mainly small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). There is no intervention in the management of the companies that are supported. alfasolar focused on the following key implementation points: Working capital financing to set up a new solar module production facility, increasing business volume as well as innovations in the field of solar module production. “We believe that innovative projects in the renewable energy sector are trendsetting,” is how Detlef Siewert, Managing Director of MBG, explains the investment in alfasolar. “We were also able to offer pure working capital financing through ‘NBeteiligung’, which is not possible within the scope of classic MBG support. This allows us to assist a larger number of SMEs.” The maximum investment volume for a silent partnership is EUR 2.5 million per company.
Strong into the future
Solar energy as a future market will remain a hot topic for Martin Denz over the coming years: “We will be able to create more jobs through innovation and growth in 2010. Demand is also expected to develop favourably in the coming year. The impact of the supply remuneration reduction for solar power remains uncertain. Since we have established an international position, it probably means we will shift more of our sales abroad. But from an overall perspective, the photovoltaics market is expected to sustain double-digit growth rates.”