Big Solar – green energy technology set to bring large-scale manufacturing back to UK

Neil Spann, MD of Big Solar (left) and Coun Harry Trueman of Sunderland City Council
Neil Spann, MD of Big Solar (left) and Coun Harry Trueman of Sunderland City Council
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New solar energy technology developed on Wearside could see the return of large-scale manufacturing to the UK.

Developer Big Solar is completing research and development on Power Roll, its unique photovoltaic (PV) technology which will be 145 times thinner and up to seven times cheaper than traditional glass panels.

We currently have three members of staff, but aim to grow by another five people within the year and then by substantially more when we move to larger scale manufacturing.

Big Solar managing Director Neil Spann

The business was previously based in shared offices at West Quay Court in Sunderland but now has its own premises at the new Washington Business Centre.

Managing Director Neil Spann said: “This unique technology will allow users to generate renewable energy at a cost comparable to carbon-based forms of energy generation and significantly cheaper than existing PV technologies.

“Current glass-based systems are predominantly manufactured in China and the Far East.

“Due to its unique design we will be able to manufacture Power Roll at a fraction of the cost here in the North East.”

“We currently have three members of staff, but aim to grow by another five people within the year and then by substantially more when we move to larger scale manufacturing.”

The £6million centre is owned by Sunderland City Council.

Deputy leader Coun Harry Trueman said: “Big Solar is an ambitious young company with a great new technology which could create significant manufacturing jobs in Sunderland.

“We are delighted to have helped with the company’s move into Washington Business Centre and we will continue to support Big Solar’s growth.”