With a track record spanning more than two decades working in the renewable energy sector, Bryan Glendinning formed Engenera Renewables in 2016. The company has grown exponentially in recent years rolling out a range of renewable energy solutions, raising £100 million in the form of a green bond and then pivoting to become a decarbonisation partner for businesses seeking a holistic solution to better manage all their energy needs. Here, he discusses the company’s landmarks and achievements in 2022 and looks ahead to his plans for this year.
How would you summarise 2022 for the company?
Last year was a landmark year from Engenera. A year earlier, in 2021, we repositioned the company to focus primarily on commercial clients looking to reduce their carbon footprint and align with ever-more ambitious government targets around emissions. Last year, we reaped the rewards of this approach. We helped many businesses of all sizes integrate bespoke energy solutions, cutting their emissions and energy bills in the process. On the back of that, we were also able to grow the business in a robust but sustainable way and welcome many new, talented people into our team.
What were the main highlights of last year?
It would have to be completing Phase 1 of our landmark, groundbreaking project with Nissan and, as part of that, finding a long-term partner in Atrato Onsite Energy. The massive 20MW Nissan solar project, which comprised over 36,000 solar panels, was acquired by renewables investment trust Atrato Onsite Energy for £10.6 million.
During the project, we carried out considerable design, development and site clearance works to prepare the site for the construction of the solar array. We also retain responsibility for undertaking the EPC and O&M contracts for the installation and maintenance of the solar PV system.
The project showcased what we are capable of with Engenera being one of the few renewable companies in the UK able to offer large-scale renewables projects with free assessment, design and installation. This is thanks to our network of funding partners and our innovative in-house design and delivery process, coupled with our unique software system.
As with all our funding partner programmes, the capital can be used to install and maintain a variety of renewable energy technology systems, free-of-charge for our clients, who then enter into a power purchase agreement, which typically lasts for 20-35 years.
Any other highlights?
It is aways nice to be recognized for the work we are doing, and it was a privilege to celebrate a number of successes at industry awards.
We enjoyed a successful evening at the North East Regional Energy Efficiency Awards. We were short listed for a number of awards and selected as the winner of the regional solar PV installer and contractor of the year award and the small scale PV project of the year.
In addition, I was honoured to be recognised at the prestigious National Energy Efficiency Awards as Energy Efficiency Champion of the Year.
I feel the awards were deserved because we always put our clients first. We helped many businesses in 2022 and, as a result, many are now paying lower energy bills, while reducing their carbon footprint. That is an achievement I will always be proud of.
What were the main challenges last year?
Growth brings its own challenges in terms of making sure our systems and processes keep pace with what is required while maintaining the highest possible levels of customer service. We onboarded a lot of new talent to keep pace with demand but overall, we feel we coped well and are a better business as a result.
The other big challenge last year was obviously inflation and soaring energy prices. Yet these were also a double-edged sword for us as they also resulted in enhanced interest from businesses in renewable energy solutions. In fact, demand is soaring. That has also put us in good stead for 2023.
Turning to 2023, what are your plans and ambitions?
Towards the end of last year, with the Nissan project nearing completion, we embarked on a major drive to help more large businesses reduce their carbon emissions. More than ever, we are able to combine different technologies and solutions including commercial solar PV and battery storage, combined heat and power, electric vehicle charging points and LED lighting.
Now, as we continue to drive into the utility scale sector, we have given new investment and fresh impetus to our major projects division. We are actively looking for more large projects to work on – and have the funding behind us to start on such projects, of any size, immediately.
Excluding the Nissan project, we have a further 350MW of solar PV projects in our pipeline. However, we have the capacity to take on a lot more; and unlike many other firms operating in this sector, we are able to develop a project from the design phase through construction to operation and long-term maintenance.
Any other news you can share with us?
We have also secured an UK wide installation programme for solar and battery storage for Costco, one of the largest Big Box retail stores in the world. Working directly with the Costco online team and their network of members, we are anticipating that this will be the largest programme of its kind in the UK.
With over 2 million customers and 29 locations across the UK the programme has a potential for significant growth, with projected revenue streams in year one of £10 million growing exponentially in future years to more than £30 million.
I would also mention that in the context of most UK local authorities declaring a climate emergency, we have developed a clear decarbonisation strategy focused on the key drivers in the government’s 10-point plan for a Green Industry Revolution. We can help them realise the benefits of renewable technology as a way of saving on energy costs, meeting carbon targets, whilst also supporting local communities. Most importantly, we can help to tackle the climate emergency issue.
Finally, our new software programme will be finalized and ready in Q2 2023. That will allow us to offer our clients a true energy management strategy. It will enable the managing, monitoring and controlling all of their on-site energy usage, whilst also identifying potential electrical and mechanical failures before they impact on the production of a customer’s facilities.