The transaction comprised two investments from Maven-managed regional funds including a £750,000 investment from the North East Development Capital Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and a £250,000 investment from the Finance Durham Fund, established by Durham County Council and overseen by Business Durham.
Maven contributed a £250,000 investment through the Finance Durham Fund in 2020, before leading an additional £2.5 million funding round in 2021 from the Finance Durham Fund and the North East Development Capital Fund.
Power Roll opened its solar film pilot manufacturing facility in County Durham last year, which is the first facility in the world to produce low-cost, lightweight, flexible solar film using Power Roll’s patented micro-groove technology. The business is now producing first generation solar film from the new pilot plant.
Power Roll’s unique solar film is capable of producing ultra-low-cost green electricity that is significantly cheaper to make than existing flexible solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The film is suitable for non-load-bearing rooftops, building integration, transport, portable applications, and off-grid projects.
Maven’s transaction will enable the business to embark on a programme of growth to continue its intensive product development pathway, allowing for the production of its innovative solar film to be commercialised on a global scale.
Solar is expected to be the fastest-growing energy sub-segment by the end of the year, with the global solar energy market expected to exceed $220 billion this year.
“We originally invested in Power Roll in 2020 and have been pleased to witness the number of development, technical and commercial milestones the company has achieved over the last three years, with its disruptive solar film technology. Neil leads a highly professional team with the right knowledge and scientific experience to drive the business forward and commercialise the technology. With green energy more important than ever, Power Roll looks set to drive innovation and produce next-generation solar solutions to assist with the transition towards a more sustainable electrical generation system.”
Michael Dickens, Investment Manager at Maven
“We are delighted by the support that Michael and Maven have provided to Power Roll since its initial investment. Maven shares our vision for the future of the business, and we are grateful for this further investment. Our mission is to revolutionise solar energy powering a global rooftop solar revolution from here in County Durham. The need for low-cost clean energy has never been greater and our solar film has the potential to generate solar energy from the billions of square meters of rooftops where the heavy and rigid silicon panels manufactured in China cannot be deployed.”
Neil Spann, Managing Director, Power Roll
“Durham County Council is proud to support Power Roll's through our Finance Durham Fund. With this additional investment, we are confident that Power Roll will continue to thrive in County Durham and contribute to the global transition towards net zero. The innovative solar film technology developed by Power Roll has the potential to revolutionise the solar energy industry, providing ultra-low-cost green electricity on a global scale. We are excited to see the positive impact this investment will have on both the local economy and the environment.”
Cllr James Rowlandson, Portfolio holder for resources, investment and assets at Durham County Council