Gorenje signed on July 6th 2011 the memorandum of association for the Energy Development Center (EDC) which has already been awarded a EUR 11 million grant from the European Regional Development Fund; total investment will amount to EUR 23 million. By signing the memorandum, Gorenje became a 24-percent shareholder.
At the EDC, Gorenje will develop and test co-generation devices for co-production of electrical and thermal energy predominantly from natural gas, with power from 5 to 500 kW; the know-how for production of this equipment will be provided by a consortium of experts. Development activities will also take place in the field of photovoltaics where primarily solar power plant control systems will be developed and tested; in addition, attention will be paid to development of autonomous solar systems, tracking devices, and other systems required for optimum operation of photovoltaic power plants.
The consortium of the newly founded EDC includes key companies from the Savinjsko-Šaleška region active in energy engineering, processing, environmental technology, as well as public research institutions and private institutes. Thus, Gorenje teamed up with the companies PV Invest, Gorenje Coal Mine, HTZ Velenje, Šoštanj Coal Power Plant, Esotech, Velenje water and Sewage Utility Service, Miel Electronics, Institute of District Energy Engineering, Ipak Institute, Venetian Design, Nazarje Energy Engineering, Adesco, Bahč, School of Environment Protection, University of Maribor, and Artes.
The Center is conceived as a high-quality multi-disciplinary group of researchers from the manufacturing sector and research sphere, which will allow a higher critical mass of the knowledge applied in energy engineering. EDC will be dedicated to promotion of capabilities of development and use of new technologies for development of new competitive products, services, and processes in the field of energy engineering and its support activities, renewable and alternative sources of energy, efficient use of energy, efficient reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and other sources of pollution, planning state-of-the-art energy systems, resolving technological and environmental problems related to energy engineering, and innovative solutions in this field.
The central goal of the EDC will be the erection of a technological and economic platform for restructuring of the region in order to foster the development of new products and programs with higher value added, and to pave the way to new jobs.