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The Australian company behind a newly launched solar roof tile has started work on the installation of a massive 100kW BIPV system on a house in Europe that is believed to be the world’s largest, at twice the size of the biggest Tesla solar roofs installed to date.
Volt Solar Tiles, a subsidiary of the busy commercial and large-scale solar company Leeson Group, was officially launched in October 2022 from its base in Victoria.
Less than a year later, the company’s managing director – and the man behind the solar tile – Peter Leeson is in Türkiye, where the company is working with local partners to deliver a huge 100kW rooftop integrated solar array.
“It is a massive project,” Leeson told One Step from Istanbul. “And, we believe it is the largest solar tile installation on one home in the world.
“It’s a huge, huge home; huge roof. And it’s starting to look excellent.”
From the back shed to Istanbul
The Australian engineered Volt Solar Tile was launched last year as a niche side business for Leeson Group, whose current pipeline of big projects includes a 440MW solar farm in Victoria.
Unlike Elon Musk’s Tesla whole-of-roof solar tile system, the Volt offering has been made to fit alongside both standard flat concrete roof tiles and higher end terracotta tiles. But like the Tesla Solar Roof, installations are limited to when a roof is replaced or newly built.
Otherwise, the Volt is quicker, cheaper and easier to install than Musk’s product and the Australian solar tiles generate the equivalent amount of energy as a standard solar panel, at a cost in the ballpark of higher end rooftop solar systems.
In fact, a recent analysis by independent advisory outfit Pottinger found the Volt to be the highest efficiency (19.5% for the higher end Planum product), lowest cost solar tile in the world, Leeson told One Step’s latest edition of the Solar Insiders Podcast.
Leeson Group has built the business around two key partnerships, with Bristile Roofing in Australia and Spain-based terracotta roof tile manufacturer La Escandella as its global distributor outside of Australia.
Bristile, which is a part of the ASX-listed building materials group Brickworks, holds a significant market share for new home roofing products in Australia, while La Escandella is expected to open up export opportunities for Volt to 85 countries.
Türkiye can now be ticked off the list .“We’re now in France, Istanbul and most states of Australia,” Leeson says. “It’s an absolute thrill to say a product concept that we thought of eight, nine years ago and now we are in Turkey installing it on a roof… So it’s a little bit of a surreal moment.
“I’ve got an amazing team back in Australia that is just driving everything that we do….They’re incredible. And yeah, we’re all just loving the ride. We’re absolutely having a ball. It’s super exciting.”
Part of the ride includes the very first Volt install on Australia’s west coast, which Peter’s brother Matthew Leeson oversaw last week, as well as the first job in Queensland to install a 30kW solar tile roof.
By: Sophie Vorrath
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