Power Roll raises £2.5m to build solar film factory

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Power Roll in Sunderland develops ultra-low-cost and lightweight flexible film for energy generation and storage using a patented microgroove technology that simplifies the manufacturing process and enables high-speed roll-to-roll production. The funding will enable Power Roll to demonstrate the feasibility of this solar film production process at pilot-scale, before licensing the technology to global manufacturers.

The investment includes £750k from the private equity firm Maven and another £750k from Kero Limited, an investment firm specialising in innovative engineering technologies. This bring the total investment in the company to £8.7m (€10.1m).

The technology is 25 times lighter than silicon PV cells and has a carbon footprint that is 20 times lower. It has been used for solar powered window blinds and in trials in India and Japan.

“This new investment will enable us to further scale up our business and take a significant step closer to mass commercialisation. We’ll be able to demonstrate production to other manufacturers and prove that our technology can deliver the lowest levelised cost of electricity for any solar technology – is less than a tenth of the cost to manufacture than other flexible PV,” said Neil Spann, chief executive of Power Roll,

Michael Dickens, investment manager at Maven, adds: “Power Roll is an innovative and growing business and we’re delighted to provide further funding following the company’s strong growth. Neil and the team have worked hard to open the new facility at Jade Business Park and it’s been a great move for the business as they continue to expand their customer reach and invest in the technology of their product. We look forward to working with Power Roll as they embark on their next phase of growth.”

Roger Doo, Director of Kero, concludes: “Kero’s mission is to support innovative technologies that solve real-world problems – and it’s hard to see a better fit than Power Roll. The ability of the lightweight solar film to capture solar energy from previously unsuitable rooftop or vehicle roof locations has the potential to dramatically improve green energy usage across the globe.  We’re proud to continue to support this team and are excited about the future.”

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