Schweizer targets UK solar market to build distribution network

Schweizer targets UK solar market to build distribution network »


Ernst Schweizer AG (‘Schweizer’), a metal engineering company serving the construction industry, is boosting its presence in the UK solar PV market with the launch of its MSP range of advanced solar mounting systems in a drive to recruit distribution partners.

The Swiss companyhas identified growing demand for its advanced rooftop solar mounting systems among EPC contractors, property developers, housebuilders, commercial construction companies and installers. The company has an office in Reigate, Surrey, from where it supports UK customers on both new-build and refurbishment projects.

Schweizer believes that rather than reducing long-term demand for renewable energy, cuts to Government incentives will boost interest in self-consumption among electricity users such as offices, manufacturers and cold-storage facilities and also home owners, driven by the need to lower electricity bills and reduce carbon footprint.

Schweizer consolidated its position in the solar market with the 2014 acquisition of Hilti Corporation’s PV mounting systems, comprising the MSP-FR-EW flat-roof system, the MSP-TT mounting system for metal roofs and the MSP-PR pitched-roof system. The technology, designed to address the fine tolerances and exacting standards of latest-generation construction methods, has been further developed, and its range expanded, by Schweizer. This also makes MSP ideal for retrofitting the vast stock of existing buildings. MSP was previously available in the UK through Hilti Corporation.

Based at Hedingen near Zurich, Schweizer has been active in solar since 1978 when it launched its first flat-plate thermal collector, later winning the Swiss Solar Prize for Best Integrated Solar. After supplying its first PV mounting systems in 1993, in 1999 the company launched Solrif, its in-roof frame and mounting system. About 3 million Solrif framed PV panels have been installed across Europe and the company supplies this product in the UK through leading brands such as Romag.

MSP is the result of years of development and major financial investment aimed at producing best-in-class mounting systems that offer simple, fast and cost-effective installation, innovative engineering focused on quality, reliability, install speed and economy, and contemporary solutions aligned with fast-changing market requirements.

The low-ballast range has proved a winner in Europe and the company has identified major potential in Britain as builders, landlords, facilities managers, commercial occupants and householders seek to save on energy costs and the UK Government looks to fulfil its international obligations on carbon emissions. Four product lines are aimed at pitched and trapezoidal metal roofs, and flat roofs – both east-west and south-facing.

As an independent, family-owned company, Schweizer can supply the range at prices comparable to those of less advanced systems.

The company believes that especially on back-up and support issues, installers, builders and contractors will want to deal with local distributors and electrical wholesalers due to their local knowledge and networks. In an industry with its share of short-timers, Schweizer is investing for the long term in the UK and will offer comprehensive marketing, training, planning software and technical support to its distribution partners.

Martyn Johnson, Schweizer Sales Manager, UK and Ireland, said: “Solar is growing strongly everywhere and it’s important that UK suppliers know about the quality and cost benefits of our market-leading MSP range. We would like to hear from electrical wholesalers, installers, distributors and others who may be interested as we’re confident that for many, we can help drive their businesses forward.”