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Plessey wins £6.7m grant for LED production expansion

Regional Growth Fund grant to help boost GaN capacity by a factor of 30

Plessey has announced that the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has officially granted £6.7 million towards the expansion of the Plessey LED manufacturing facility in Plymouth, England.

Plessey will increase its manufacturing capacity from over 100 million square millimetres of GaN material per year to more than 3 billion square millimetres. The facility modifications will take place during 2015, with additional manufacturing tools and supporting equipment coming on stream from 2015 through to 2017.

Chris Bailey, Plessey's finance director, said: "We are very proud of our local heritage and the RGF funding will contribute to our expansion plans for the Plymouth facility. The expansion will bring additional well paid technical jobs to the site, and strengthen our long term future by providing the base for new lighting technologies and products to be manufactured in the UK. The project also aligns very well with national strategies, such as the Growth Review and it aims to increase and support manufacturing in the UK to make the UK Europe's leading exporter of high value goods and services."

Solid state lighting forms a significant part of global efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.  According to 'Solid State Lighting & Fluorescent Lighting Market by Technology - Forecast to 2020', published by MarketsandMarkets, the solid state lighting market size is projected to reach $22.2 billion by 2020, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.31 percent from 2015 to 2020. The market will be driven by high brightness LEDs delivering higher energy efficiency in all lighting applications.

According to a new report: 'Lighting the Clean Revolution: The rise of LED street lighting and what it means for cities', lighting is responsible for 19 percent of global electricity use and around 6 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Doubling lighting efficiency globally through LEDs would have a climate impact equivalent to eliminating half the emissions of all electricity and heat production in the EU. 

And, like many other energy-efficient technologies, efficient lighting will boost global prosperity. In the United Kingdom alone, cutting the energy used by lighting by 40 percent would save £6.5 billion in annual energy costs, and reduce energy demand equivalent to 33 mid-size power stations.

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