Cambridge-based solar technology firm Solar Cloth Company (SCC) has announced a merger with fabric structures manufacturer Base Structures.

The merger will see the two firms collaborate on a significant push for the UK’s nascent solar carport market, however both entities will continue to trade under their current names.

While SCC has its knowledge base in the deployment of lightweight CIGS solar technology, Base has developed fabric structures for high profile sites such as London’s O2 arena, the London 2012 basketball stadium and Ben Ainslie Racing’s HQ in Portsmouth.

Mike Staplehurst, chief executive at Solar Cloth Company, said that there is “huge potential” for public and private businesses with car parks to save money on their energy bills through solar generation, but added there were a number of problems preventing the market from taking off.

“At present, the price is too high and the structures too utilitarian and inflexible. Our merger with Base Structures means we can build light weight, adaptable and beautiful structures with a realistic business case – making solar generation possible where it wasn’t before.

“In addition, it will help companies begin to address the infrastructure deficit for the growth in electric vehicles,” Staplehurst said.

Chris Ives, managing director at Base, added: “Through joining with Solar Cloth Company and [its] extensive understanding of light-weight solar generation we will be able to offer our customers something not yet on the market – cheap, green energy that doesn’t compromise on aesthetics and doesn’t cost the earth. That’s a really exciting prospect.”