British solar heat leader signs deal to manufacture products in the US

British solar thermal innovator Naked Energy has signed a manufacturing contract with ELM Solar of ELM Companies, an American Utility Services and Renewable Energy Technology provider. 

ELM Companies has invested $3 million into the facility and equipment to manufacture the Virtu product range. The expansion of ELM Solar and ELM Microgrid in Dallas is expected to generate 150 renewable energy jobs.  

Naked Energy is expecting manufacturing for all North American projects to be handled entirely in the US by 2025 minimising reliance on foreign supply chains for its customer base in the US.   

The partnership will see ELM Solar produce Naked Energy’s solar thermal technology aiming to manufacture 150,000 Virtu tubes by 2028.  

On 18th April, Naked Energy and ELM representatives will be gathering with local officials and state representatives to celebrate the opening of the facility and provide tours of the plant. 

The move deepens the already-successful partnership between the two companies, with ELM Solar already handling the North American distribution of Naked Energy’s VirtuPVT and VirtuHOT collectors.   

As a result, Naked Energy has already seen substantial success in the country, with their first US installation at Creighton University launching in late 2023. 

Naked Energy’s range of solar heat collectors are called Virtu. VirtuHOT is TÜV-certified and converts the sun’s energy into heat up to 120°C while its revolutionary solar PVT collector, VirtuPVT, simultaneously generates both PV electricity and solar heat up to 75°C.  

The business has also developed a complementary platform, Clarity247, to monitor the performance of Virtu as well as integrated technologies like PV panels in real time. 

Both Virtu technologies, recognized as the highest energy density collectors for flat roofs, have shown to be very well suited for the decarbonisation of heat in sectors with a year-long heat demand, such as hotels, leisure centres, universities, multi-dwelling properties and applications covering the lower range of industrial process heat.  

The deal comes at a time when investment into solar energy is booming across the United States, being driven predominantly by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).  

The act has already led to manufacturing almost doubling just one year in and has already seen $50 billion invested into clean energy technologies. The IRA also adds 10% in tax credits to the end customer for products manufactured in the USA.  

Christophe Williams, CEO and co-founder of Naked Energy, said: “Our partnership with ELM has already paid huge dividends for both of us, and I’m very proud that we can deepen our relationship further with this manufacturing agreement. The United States is a key market for us, and we look forward to further decarbonising the United States’ heating systems. 

“It reflects the success and popularity of the business’ products on the other side of the pond, and we’re looking for more manufacturers across the world who share our desire to decarbonise heat on a global scale.” 

Lee C Graves, Chairman and founder of ELM said: “We are pleased to announce this significant partnership with Naked Energy, marking a pivotal moment in our commitment to advancing renewable energy solutions in the U.S.   

“By bringing Naked Energy’s cutting-edge solar thermal technology to our manufacturing facility in Texas, we are not only bolstering our renewable energy portfolio but also creating sustainable job opportunities and contributing to the growth of the clean energy sector.  

“This collaboration underscores our shared vision for a greener future and reinforces our position as leaders in the transition to clean, efficient energy systems.” 

 

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