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Belgium: 120 solar panels blown off Van Laethem's roof

The company building of Van Laethem in Vlezenbeek, Belgium, was hit hard by the strong winds of last weekend. One hundred and twenty solar panels blew off the roof of the building. The panels had been placed on the roof of the company that cultivates herbs and edible flowers, some years previously. No one was hurt. Van Laethem invested in high-performing solar panels three years ago in order to achieve lasting good returns, according to business manager John van Laethem. “We then hired a specialised company to place the panels.”

Damages unclear
According to Van Laethem, it was fortunate that the panels did not fly toward the greenhouses, but to the street. “Our activity has fortunately not been put on hold because the wind came from the other direction, and blew the solar panels away from our greenhouses and towards the parking lot and access road. By now, all of the panels have been cleared away. Besides the panels, some vehicles, including lorries, and a gate were also damaged. We consider ourselves fortunate that we only had material damages.”

“The amount of the damage is difficult to ascertain, but the complete installation alone amounts to just under one hundred thousand euro. Damage to the vehicles is not yet clear, it will become clearer this week.” About three months ago, Van Laethem had an internal consultation to increase production of the solar panels. “I am now very happy that we did not have any additional panels placed on our roof then.”

Thank you
Van Laethem’s staff will work as usual this week. “Everyone can return to work, after the business managers made sure that the building has been secured against further storms. We wish to thank everyone for the many messages of support. It is at times like these that true friendship can be recognised,” Van Laethem concludes.

Please click here to watch the camera images

For more information:
John Van Laethem
Van Laethem BVBA
Postweg 20
1602 Vlezenbeek, Belgium
T: +32 2563 5265
F: +32 2569 2485
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