The UK solar industry has finally received some good news this week, with the opening of a solar panel manufacturing facility in Jarrow, South Tyneside, creating more than 20 jobs.
Sunfest Solar secured a grant from One North East, the Regional Development Agency covering North East England and received support from South Tyneside Council for its move to the borough, which is initially creating 21 jobs, with more to follow.
Company founder and chief executive officer, Jasit Singh Ahluwalia, said: “We have employed new staff from Jarrow, South Shields and Newcastle, and will take on more people as we increase our shifts.
“We have a state-of-the-art testing facility for our solar panels, which we will produce five days a week.” Ahluwalia, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the solar industry and has been honoured for his achievements within the sector in India and the UK, said the panels produced at the new Jarrow plant are of a very high specification.
A Sunfest spokesman said: “The UK and European countries are investing a substantial amount in carbon reduction and the promotion of the environmentally-friendly, green industry and we at Sunfest wish to contribute our expertise to the fight against warming.”
Sunfest Solar will work with renewable energy and low carbon specialist, Narec, based in Blyth, Northumberland, to focus on reducing financial risk and providing capital. Funding details are yet to be disclosed.
The UK solar industry is currently at loggerheads with the government regarding recent cuts in feed-in tariffs.