21 September 2022

Hotel Okura Amsterdam symbolizes Solnet's growth in Europe

Solnet was ranked 59th on the Financial Times' 2019 "FT1000 Europe's Fastest Growing Companies" list. The following year, Fortune Business Insight named Solnet one of the world's leading Smart Solar players. The turnover growth, which has tripled in the last four years, represents the top class of both Finnish and European energy companies. But what does Solnet's international business look like today?

Solnet growing into a Europe-wide solar  company
Kaj Kangasmäki, CEO and one of Solnet's founders, sheds light on the company's prospects in the European market.

"The focus of Solnet's operations is to accelerate Europe's energy transition from fossil fuels to sustainable, renewable forms of energy. In accordance with our strategy, we want to focus more and more on deliveries covering the whole of Europe. Large companies operating in every corner of Europe are an effective channel for this: we have already implemented several projects for large Fortune 500 companies, such as IKEA, Lidl and DHL."

Kangasmäki continues: "Our goal is to be among the three largest suppliers of B2B rooftop power plants in Europe by 2024. Achieving this requires a lot of bang for the buck: that's why we are happy to welcome EAB Private Equity and Tesi's (i.e. Finland's Industrial Investment), investment of a total of 15 million euros in Solnet, which took place at the beginning of July."

Germany and Poland
Germany is literally the hottest solar market in Europe, accounting for a good third of Europe's solar electricity production. There, Solnet is currently finalizing a huge 4 MWp system installation, with several other major projects underway. "Poland is also a very important growth market for us, and we are also making good progress in other countries of Eastern Central Europe, such as Croatia and Slovenia. Since our starting point is to keep project management firmly under our control, we are at the same time growing our international organization. Our team will soon be strengthened with, among other resources, an experienced American top talent," says Kangasmäki.

International growth started in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has long been the hub of international growth for Solnet. 
"The Netherlands became our first station country outside of Finland five years ago," says Kangasmäki. "The choice was based on certain strategic advantages. The Netherlands has one of the fastest growing solar markets in Europe, and the country is logistically an excellent location for international operations. In addition, there are plenty of headquarters of global companies, which fits perfectly with our pan-European strategy. So it was a very natural decision to locate Solnet's office in Amsterdam."

"Over the years, we have accumulated a long list of installation sites in Holland. Hotel Okura Amsterdam is the most prominent of them and an excellent example of our ability to meet the needs of clients representing extreme prestige as well," says Kangasmäki with pride in his voice.

Hotel Okura Amsterdam offers five-star luxury with solar power
Since its establishment in 1971, Hotel Okura Amsterdam has been one of the city's leading luxury hotels. And certainly one of the most visible: the LED lights indicating the weather on the roof of the 23-story high hotel building located in the downtown area. have long been a landmark known to every Amsterdammer.
Hotel Okura Amsterdam was the first step of the prestigious Japanese hotel chain on its way to internationalization. The hotel, which has just turned 50 years old, attracts guests from all over the world, especially with its top-class restaurant offer: the hotel's four restaurants have garnered a total of three Michelin stars. Restaurant Yamazato was also the first traditional Japanese restaurant in Europe to earn a Michelin star.
The rooms of upscale hotels are now largely electrified. And when hotel operators aim for lower operating costs and a smaller carbon footprint, clean and affordable solar electricity is a natural choice. These reasons made Hotel Okura Amsterdam turn to Solnet Group to implement a solar energy system to be installed on the hotel's roof.

The solar panels on the roof of the hotel correspond to the carbon dioxide savings of more than 6,000 trees
Solnet's team had to take certain special features of a luxury hotel into account in the project. Since the solar power system is visible from the windows of the hotel rooms, the reflectivity of the solar panels was carefully investigated for Okura. Similar investigations have also been carried out in the past at airports and aircraft landing areas. Along with using the roof space as efficiently as possible, the end result also had to look luxurious: this requirement was met with stylish black panels and a black racking construction.

The environmental effects achieved with solar electricity are awe-inspiring. "As a luxury hotel belonging to the Leading Hotels of the World network, we are always looking for opportunities to reduce our environmental impact and at the same time guarantee our quality," says Jos Pallandt, one of the hotel's managers. "One of the most important steps in this direction in recent years is the acquisition of a solar power system comprising 832 panels. After installation, we have already saved more than 210,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide, which can be compared to planting 6,275 trees (dated March 14th, 2022). This has been a wonderful act of responsibility for both our own team and our guests," Pallandt enthuses.

Solnet is the proud sponsor of RE-Source 2022 at Hotel Okura Amsterdam
Europe's largest renewable energy procurement event, RE-Source 2022, will be held in Amsterdam's Hotel Okura in October. Solnet is participating and sponsoring the event for the fourth year in a row. If you are coming to the event, please contact Jonatan Höglund, our Head of International Corporates.

Chris Limberger,
Manager Digital Marketing & Sales