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University spin-out company secures further funding – University of Reading

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University spin-out company secures further funding

Release Date 01 June 2005

a sunsetWhitfield Solar, a spin-out company of The University of Reading that develops and manufactures solar electric photovoltaic generators, has secured funds from Carbon Trust Investments Limited matched with private equity from Mr Andy Pegg, founder and CEO of Segen, a new entrant to the sustainable energy generation industry. Further funds from Whitfield Solar's existing investor, the Cascade Fund, have also been secured. CEO Dr Clive Weatherby said: "I am delighted with the new investment, especially as it comes from such committed partners. This investment demonstrates confidence in the technology and the additional capital will allow us to accelerate the development of the low-cost photovoltaic concentrator system to market entry later this year. We can realize start-up production levels creating momentum towards our goal of halving today's installed system prices. We will exhibit our product for the first time at the Barcelona EU PVSEC in June this year." Jonathan Bryers, Investment Manager at the Carbon Trust, commented: "The Carbon Trust is committed to developing a low carbon economy within the UK and our investment in Whitfield Solar Limited is part of our ongoing work to help make this vision a reality. From an investor's perspective the last few years have seen the clean technology sector emerge as a discrete investment category in its own right. We look forward to supporting the commercial development of Whitfield Solar Limited as part of this exciting period of growth for the clean technology market." Whitfield Solar Limited is a spin-off company from the University's Department of Cybernetics. Formed in April 2004, it provides a commercial outlet for over 30 years of R&D within the solar sector and capitalises on the Carbon Trust's review of solar concentrator technology – 'Building Options for UK Renewable Energy' (October 2003). The report identifies that the high material costs of photovoltaic panels represent a significant barrier to take up of solar technology. Whitfield Solar Limited aims to produce a low-cost solar technology by developing concentrated photovoltaic technology that contains 100 times less silicon than conventional flat panel systems. Whitfield Solar Limited is based at Reading Enterprise Hub, a business incubator on the University campus which offers an environment for growth for high-tech start-ups. End Notes for Editors The Carbon Trust • The Carbon Trust works with UK business and the public sector to cut carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies. An independent company set up by Government to help the UK meet its climate change obligations, the Carbon Trust creates practical business-focused solutions to carbon emission reduction on energy efficiency, carbon management, and investment. • The Carbon Trust's annual funding is in excess of £65m in grants from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and Invest NI. • The Carbon Trust is involved in the general activity of promoting investment in low carbon technologies. It does not give investment advice. The contents of this press release are intended for information only and are not to be relied upon for any purpose whatsoever. The University of Reading The University of Reading is one of the top 20 research intensive universities in the UK, and internationally recognised for the excellence of its teaching on a broad range Arts, Humanities and Sciences programmes. In the last Research Assessment Exercise, 15 departments were awarded the grade of 5, with five designated the top rating of 5* (Archaeology, English, Italian, Meteorology and Psychology). The University consistently achieves high ratings for the quality of its teaching from the national Quality Assurance Agency. Links: Whitfield Solar Ltd. http://www.whitfieldsolar.com The Carbon Trust http://www.thecarbontrust.co.uk Cascade Fund http://www.cascadefund.co.uk Segen http://www.segen.co.uk The University of Reading http://www.reading.ac.uk Reading Enterprise Hub http://www.readinghub.co.uk/dynamic/index.aspx For media enquiries, please contact: 1. Dr. Clive Weatherby, CEO, Whitfield Solar Ltd. Reading Enterprise Hub, The University of Reading, Earley Gate, Reading, RG6 6AU, UK. +44 (0) 118 935 7260 clive.weatherby@whitfieldsolar.com 2. The Carbon Trust press office +44 (0) 20 7544 3100 carbontrust@fishburn-hedges.co.uk

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