The UK’s first commercial solar photovoltaics centre of excellence is set to open in Nottingham. Established by IPSol Energy, the 8000ft2 facility based at Nottingham’s Easter Park will provide global manufacturers and installers of solar PV modules with independent strategy advice and validation of their products.

IPSol Energy has secured around half a million pounds in investment for the facility from private backers, thanks to support from Connect Midlands. The centre will be the first of its kind in the UK as well as the worlds’ first Solar PV Centre of Excellence. IPSol is determined to reverse the UK’s current standing, placing it at the centre of the world stage for PV technology and services.

“Rising energy prices, depletion of fossil fuels, concerns about climate change and energy security have all contributed to the remarkable growth of PV in the last decade,” explains IPSol Energy CEO Peter Khoury.

“Additionally, with the introduction of the UK Government feed-in tariffs in April 2010, the UK market has experienced a tremendous surge of 1000% in the uptake of PV and is in dire need of the services being provided by IPSol.”

Peter Khoury continues, “We have some very ambitious and concrete plans for growth here and we are looking at eventually employing up to 20 high-tech personnel within the business. With plans of 100% growth year on year for the next five years, IPSol Energy knew that significant additional investment would be required for capital expenditure and working capital and began to work with Connect Midlands in reaching regional investors.

“By working with the team at Connect Midlands we were able to get inside the mind of the investment community. The chance to present at various showcases and networking events was invaluable in helping us spread the word about the business amongst a very well targeted audience.”

Paul Jenkinson, Regional Manager of Connect Midlands added, “Solar Photovoltaics is a global growth and green sector and IPSol provide a required product validation service. Peter Khoury brings strong sector and international experience. Connect has been delighted to support them and wishes them well.”

IPSol Energy is formed and managed by a team of executives and engineers with clean energy expertise working in association with Loughborough University’s Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST). IPSol Energy plans to deliver a complete cradle-to-grave solutions portfolio to the global Solar PV market proving strategic consulting through to testing and certification of PV components and modules.