Solar energy firm to build assembly line at MSIP
Faisal Ghani: investing
A company making flat-pack solar water heaters to help some of the world’s poorest is to build an assembly line at the innovation centre on the site of the former Michelin tyre factory in Dundee.
SolarisKit, based at Heriot-Watt University, participated in the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc accelerator programme earlier this year.
In October it announced it had been accepted on to the next programme, joining seven other companies, and would be taking space as a tenant.
It now says it will be adding eight staff and creating an assembly line to develop its solar thermal collectors that provide clean energy to some of the world’s most challenging environments.
Faisal Ghani, founder and CEO of SolarisKit, said: “Our plan is to setup a new manufacturing assembly line by the end of January to produce an initial run of 100 flat-packable solar thermal units destined for a trial project we are undertaking in Rwanda to demonstrate both the environmental and socio-economic impact achieved from the supply of affordable clean energy.
“We are currently investing in equipment and production tooling. In our first year of manufacture, we aim to employ an initial eight staff, doubling the size of the workforce over the following two years.”
Assembled in 30 minutes, the SolarisKit solar collector can convert sunlight efficiently into hot water to meet the needs of most homes or businesses, with the potential to save energy costs of up to 70%. In most standard weather conditions, the SolarisKit is capable of heating water to temperatures of up to 50C, perfect for normal showering and laundry requirements. Each collector can save about 300kg of carbon emissions per year.
By 2025, SolarisKit aims to install over 90,000 collectors a year, saving over 27 million kilograms of carbon emissions.
Promoted as a low carbon campus, MSIP is a joint venture between Michelin, Dundee City Council, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.
Greig Coull, CEO at MSIP said: “SolarisKit is an exciting start-up company with huge growth potential. Its solar technology is another example of a new company contributing to and delivering towards ambitious climate change plans around the world, creating carbon neutral economic growth.
“SolarisKit not only fits well with the scope of the ambition at MSIP, its ethos of creating inclusive places for people to live very much matches our own. We believe in its mission to deliver affordable hot water systems and clean energy for those living in developing nations, and will support SolarisKit as much as we can.”
“We were excited to welcome SolarisKit onto our first Accelerator Programme earlier this year, and today are pleased to soon welcome them as a tenant at MSIP.”
SolarisKit secured around £250,000 of funding from Innovate UK, the United Kingdom’s innovation Agency through its Energy Catalyst 7 Programme and is a former winner of the Converge Impact Challenge.
It has also received support from Royal Society of Edinburgh (Enterprise Fellowship), Scottish Enterprise and the EIT-Climate-KIC accelerator and is a recent winner of the Wild Card category of the Scottish Edge 16 Awards.