The DLR site in Jülich is located about 60 kilometres west of Cologne and, since mid-2011, has been home to a working group of the Institute for Solar Research. On 1 July 2011, DLR acquired the Solar Thermal Test and Demonstration Power Plant Jülich (STJ) from Stadtwerke Jülich GmbH (Jülich Public Utility Company).
South Africa has plentiful solar energy and, at the same time, possesses a large aluminium processing industry. Researchers and industry are cooperating within the SOLAM (solar melting of aluminium in a directly radiated rotary kiln) project to develop a method by which aluminium foundries could use solar energy to melt this metal.
2153 mirrors twist and turn at DLR Experimental Solar Thermal Power Plant in Jülich, directing sunlight onto a 22-square-metre receiver. TerraSAR-X, the German radar satellite operated by DLR, can also detect the mirrors as they follow the Sun – from more than 500 kilometres above Earth.
The first solar tower power plant in North Africa will be built in Algeria. The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) have agreed to collaborate on this project.