NETHERLANDS – Royal DSM has announced that it has unveiled a new field test site in Southern Netherlands to advance its capabilities in solar materials and reinforce the renewable energy agenda.

The new Louisegroeve solar field is a collaboration between DSM and its partners including the solar module manufacturer Tata Power Solar and NaGa Solar, who owns the new facility along with a consortium of private equity investors.

DSM said all electricity generated by the solar field will be offered to local households and companies, further accelerating its ambition to make clean, affordable solar energy.

The site, expected to generate 3.2 GWh of renewable energy per year, has 10,573 photovoltaic (PV) panels, featuring DSM’s industry-leading Anti-Reflective coating, which increases power gain by more than 3%.

DSM said the facility will be a critical test site for Western European climate conditions, an addition to test sites that the company operates in India and China.

The Louisegroeve solar field will be subjected to advanced monitoring, thus generating valuable performance and reliability data.

According to the company, the solar park and its data will be audited by an independent third party (3E) – and will ultimately be used by DSM’s nearby Solar Technology Center to deliver risk assessments on novel new materials with the potential to help the industry reduce the Levelized Cost of Energy and ultimately compete with fossil-based energy sources.

Apart from delivering sustainability benefits, the site uses minimal natural resources and preserves valuable agricultural land.

“This is a landmark day, not just for DSM but for the European solar industry.

Through collaboration with our trusted partners NaGa Solar and Tata Power Solar we now have the capability to conduct advanced testing of new solar materials and technology in a Western European climate,” said Pascal de Sain, Vice-President of DSM Advanced Solar.

This will boost our own R&D efforts and hence facilitate science-based materials innovation in an industry dearly needing it.

We are convinced that the insights we gain from the Louisegroeve facility will be crucial in helping solar panel manufacturers develop more effective, sustainable and affordable solutions and continue to build trust in DSM’s material innovations at investor level.”

This comes after DSM announced the ambitious goal to reduce 30% of its greenhouse gas emissions from direct production and purchased energy by 2030.