13 May 2004
Electric introduction of BP Solar PowerGlaz
Last night London’s leading architects gathered at the Roy al Opera Hous e for the launch of
PowerGlaz, a revolutionary laminated glass that incorporates solar cells . This unique British
designed solar electric glass, which can be incorporated into the structure of a building to
produce clean electricity, is to go on sale in the UK later this year and could revolutionise the
use of renewable energy in building design.
Guest speaker Stephen Timms MP, UK Minister for Energy, told the audience that the
government is keen to encourage the use of products that can be integrat ed into buildings,
increasing energy efficiency and reducing emissions. Special guest Sir Ranulf Fiennes, the
arctic explorer, also spoke of his first hand experience of the damaging effects of climate
change and encouraged arc hitects to introduce PowerGlaz into their building design.
Developed by BP Solar and Romag, a world leader in the manufacturer of specialised
laminated glass, the joint-technology represents a signific ant leap forward in the evolution of
solar technology. PowerGlaz creates, for the first time, a genuine building product that will be
both economical and widely available to the architectural and construction sectors and help
architects and developers meet the growing demand for sustainable, energy efficient
“After leaving Arup’s 6 years ago, to take up the challenge of making solar panels a standard
in building design, my dreams are starting to come tru e” said Ray Noble BP Solar’s UK Sales
According to BP Solar and Romag, who have spent six years developing the product,
PowerGlaz will be easy-to-install and serve the dual purpose of replacing conventional
glazing materials while simultaneously harnessing energy from natural light to produce clean
PowerGlaz, which is essentially high performance solar electric cells laminated between glass
panels, will also cut carbon dioxide emissions and provide a substantial perc entage of the
maximum power requirement of a building. From an architectural point of view, the new
product will offer both striking design features and, by displacing the original building material,
reduce the cost of introducing solar electric technology.
“We will begin mass production of PowerGlaz at the end of this mont h,” said Romag Sales
Director Keith Morrison, “allowing solar electric technology to be used more widely and
economic ally in the construction of buildings. By using the latest processing technology, we
will be able to offer PowerGlaz in a range of sizes up to 3.3m x 2.2m. This will offer a wide
choice to designers and arc hitects. The product is simple for installers to manage and once
installed is very low maintenance. It proves that our technologies are available to deliver
practical and economical solar energy systems.”
At the same event, Marley Roofing launched its solar-powered roof tiles, which are aimed at
the domestic market. The tiles are made of Romag's laminated glass and also incorporate BP
Notes for the editor:
PowerGlaz is the result of an innovative, forward thinking partnership between BP Solar and Romag,
which is, effectively, the UK solar industry’s first major commercial and technical alliance. The
partnership was officially launched in the presence of Minister for Energy Steven Timms at Romag’s
Leadgate factory in Durham in October last year.
The imminent mass production of PowerGlaz, however, means the dream of the building that generates
its own electricity through solar cells in its glazing is now close to becoming reality. Romag are currently
installing a £2.5m production line and production of PowerGlaz is expected to commence next month.
About Romag: In the early 1970s, Romag had two steelworks and a brickworks alongside a specialist
glass business with sales of about £70,000 a year. It moved out of steel and bricks to concentrate on
glass and has spun off Zytronic, Aim -quoted maker of touch-sensitive glass.
About BP Solar: BP Solar is a global company with over 2000 employees focused on harnessing the
sun's energy to produce solar electricity. This includes the design, manufacture and marketing of quality
solar electric systems for a wide range of applications in the residential, commercial and industrial
sectors. With over 30 years of experience and installations in over 160 countries, BP Solar is one of the
world's largest solar companies and has manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Spain, India and Australia.
BP Solar is part of BP, one of the world's leading energy companies. To learn more, visit