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Press release – Kerry T&N install

Is this the UK’s most sustainable & ethical large-scale rooftop solar installation?

  • The Big Solar Co-op and Meyer Burger are working together to transform the ethics of UK solar generation
  • Big Solar Co-op’s first community rooftop installation is getting underway on a Shropshire food processing plant using German-made sustainable panels from Meyer Burger
  • Over £1 million raised so far from over 500 investors in Big Solar Co-op
  • Rolling share offer invites investment from £100 for 5% target annual return

Pioneering UK-wide community energy business the Big Solar Co-op is kicking off its first large rooftop solar installation using sustainable and more ethical high-tech solar panels made by Swiss company Meyer Burger, the first time Meyer Burger panels have been used on this scale in the UK.

The global solar industry has been working to improve the transparency and ethics of its supply chain since China became the leading global source of polysilicon, a key material needed in the manufacture of solar PV, raising concerns about forced labour and the high carbon footprint of panel manufacture.

Meyer Burger is a long-established European business which previously made solar manufacturing equipment for others. In 2021 they started their own solar panel production in Germany using 100% renewable energy with a substantial proportion of polysilicon sourced from Germany and South Korea. The panels are also certified free from lead and PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) making them simple to recycle at the end of their life.

Jon Hallé, co-founder, Big Solar Co-op, said: “As champions of environmental and social justice and active participants in the solar industry, we need to both understand the supply chain issues and act on our findings. Our research brought us to Meyer Burger who are showing genuine leadership on the solar sourcing problem matched with real quantifiable progress. Meyer Burger panels combine very high quality and efficiency with a serious claim to be both the most ethical and greenest panels in the UK market. We’re proud to be pioneering their use in the UK market.”

Scott McDaniel, Head of Sales UK & Ireland, Meyer Burger, said: “Meyer Burger is on the way to proving that we can grow a viable solar PV industry in Europe. We couldn’t be more pleased that our first UK solar installation is with the Big Solar Co-op who have a genuinely innovative approach to community owned solar, helping businesses and communities increase their energy independence.” 

Panels are being installed on the roof of food processing plant Kerry T&N in Tenbury Wells, Shropshire. The total installation at Kerry T&N comprises approximately 750 panels with a capacity of over 300kW, equivalent to over 1 million miles driven in an EV per year. Kerry T&N is a major employer in South Staffordshire, and the reduction in operating costs resulting from the solar installation will help ensure they continue to contribute to the local economy, especially at a time when other costs are rising sharply.

Kerry Baker, Plant Manager, Kerry T&N, said: “We’re very excited about our new rooftop solar panels which are cutting our carbon footprint as well as our energy bills, contributing to the future sustainability of the business. Working with the Big Solar Co-op has been a smooth, straightforward process and we are looking forward to a long-term productive relationship with them.”

The Big Solar Co-op has already raised over £1 million from over 500 investors and is currently raising funds from investors to carry out more similar installations through a rolling share offer. 

The share offer aims to pay investors a target annual return of 5%, or bank base rate + 2%, whichever is higher. The minimum investment is £100 and the maximum is £100,000. Share interest will be tax free for some shareholders under the Personal Savings Allowance scheme and shares can be passed on free of Inheritance Tax.

Jon Hallé added: “We’ve got lots more large solar rooftops in our pipeline all across the country. Investing with us helps us to unlock the huge potential of co-operatively-owned solar on community and commercial rooftops, powering the way forward to a low carbon future.”

The Big Solar Co-op is completely owned by members of the public, who either volunteer their time, invest, or both. Investor members will control 25% of votes in the Big Solar Co-op, with the remaining 75% controlled by volunteer worker members. To find out more and download a Share Offer Document please visit:

https://bigsolar.coop/invest