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 Jülich experimental solar thermal power plant (STJ) from Stadtwerke Jülich GmbH (Jülich Public Utility Company).
This unique, large-scale research facility was completed in 2008 and is now being used by DLR's energy business unit for research and development. Here, new components and processes are tested with the objective of making solar power plants more efficient and less costly. Also, production processes for solar fuels and the use of solar energy for industrial processes are being studied, for example, the desalination of seawater. Together with partners from industry and other research institutions, the experimental solar power plant will be developed into a solar research centre with additional equipment and test facilities.
The results of the work carried out at the Institute for Solar Research will contribute to enabling efficient and environment-friendly energy supply both technically and in terms of cost-effectiveness.