The American Dream: Fonroche Lighting in the USA


Our international projects / Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

In September 2019, Fonroche Lighting announced the acquisition of SolarOne, a pioneer of solar streetlighting in the United States. The move has given the French market leader a strong foothold in America with its range of off-grid lighting solutions, while benefiting from SolarOne’s expertise and sales force.

Fonroche Lighting now established stateside

SolarOne, pioneers of off-grid solar lighting in the US

Founded in Massachusetts in 2004, SolarOne Solutions, Inc. specializes in solar public lighting. A pioneer in this largely underexploited niche market, the company is blazing a trail with municipalities, military bases, federal facilities and many others, offering a cost-effective, eco-friendly and robust solution. In 15 years, SolarOne has installed thousands of streetlights across the United States, improving safety and security for public highways, private access roads, pedestrian walkways and more.

The 10-strong team based in the Boston suburb of Needham is working every day to provide sustainable lighting for America’s public infrastructure. The Fonroche Lighting subsidiary is expanding and has numerous job vacancies. Browse their jobs offers here.

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SolarOne team in United States

An acquisition based on shared values

The tie-up between SolarOne and Fonroche Lighting reflects a shared objective to rapidly provide American municipalities with the most competitive solar lighting technology in the marketplace. Even more fundamentally, what underpins this acquisition is a set of shared values and a common vision of the market. The two entities are now positioned to offer American decisionmakers a powerful, eco-friendly and cost-effective solution.

Fonroche solar streetlights on previous American projects

US market needs renewable energy solutions

As in European countries, much of America’s existing urban infrastructure is lit by conventional and equally obsolete streetlights, and refurbishment costs are considerable. The drive to save money and protect the environment is also a top concern stateside, and for these reasons sustainable solutions are attracting growing attention from public-sector authorities and private-sector companies alike.

Fonroche has completed numerous solar lighting projects to improve safety and security for new urban developments and locations not connected to the grid, such as parks and gardens, greenways and even Indian reservations.

Cheyenne River Indian Reservation

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Cheyenne River Indian Reservation lit by Fonroche Lighting

In one of Fonroche’s most iconic projects in the US so far, we provided lighting for the continent’s fourth-largest Indian reservation. With a population of over 8,500, the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, which includes the city of Eagle Butte, South Dakota, covers a land area of over 4,250 square miles (11,000 sq.km) and is home to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

Because rolling out a power grid across such a vast area would be difficult and costly, solar streetlights proved to be the best solution for improving safety and security in the city centre and along access roads. Two years ago, we installed 80 lighting points in this South Dakota reservation.

The project was supported by the United States Department of Energy and the Sandia National Laboratories, one of the country’s key research and development labs working on energy and government programmes.

For over a year, a host of projects have arisen from this new collaboration, including lighting for the start area of a running track in Nebraska and a lakeside trail in Oklahoma. Numerous other projects are also in the pipeline for lighting roads, parks, gardens and more!