Anesco has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent years and has won acclaim for its ability to move fast in the market, often outmanoeuvring government subsidy cuts in the process.

It’s this pace and precision that has seen the company top the Sunday Times’ Profit Track 100 list this year, and today Solar Power Portal has announced that it is ranked sixth in its Top Solar EPC list for UK market activity.

The firm’s chief executive Delvin Lane spoke to SPP ahead of the rankings announcement on why it will resist overseas temptations, and how Anesco is showing no signs of slowing down.


How have you found the solar market to operate in over the past 12 months?

We have been phenomenally successful in the UK and that's where our ambitions and plans lie. We're constantly asked to go overseas but I think for us, the home market is where we're powerful and where we're strong and where I think we can add the most value. We want to continue that. Yes the market has moved and has changed, but I think a successful company can adapt and almost revel in that kind of market. I think that's where we are.

One area Anesco has been prominent in is community partnership installs. How beneficial has that market been, and are there any challenges to working on these rather than regular utility-scale projects?

We've got a number of community energy projects. We've got four solar sites that we've developed and we've got two solar bonds on the market at the moment, and we've also done some peer-to-peer lending and funding on a number of our energy efficiency projects including a basket of measures which was residential biomass, rooftop solar and other different things.

For us it's about being first to market. We've been one of the key players to market in that space and I think it's about having the right, compelling offer for peer to peer lending and for community energy projects. But whether it's through bond raises or through investing in the local community in which we serve and have assets, it's an integral part of what we do. I think we're probably one of the first solar organisations in the UK to have a full-time specialist in biodiversity. We have a partnership with the RSPB on our solar assets where we work with them and almost create a solar nature park. We manage the land appropriately to encourage that biodiversity in our portfolio.

That's all been part of the community. If you ignore them then one; you're going into a place where you haven't communicated what you're trying to do for their benefit, and two; you can't be taken seriously. That has impacts around planning, access to land and the ongoing relationship with local people. For us, we want to work with local communities.

With so much solar being developed it's perhaps ambitious to expect a lot of developers to take biodiversity that seriously, is that where you can differentiate?

It is. The fact we only develop our own sites and then we look after those sites for 25, 30 and now 40 years, it's important that we're building tier one, class A assets and that we're looking after them right and the land in which those assets reside. Absolutely it's a differentiator. We can genuinely look in the eyes of the local planning authorities and the investors that buy into our assets and say to them: “we're doing the right thing.” We're looking after the people, the area of the land and the communities.

What's the expectation for the next twelve months of UK solar?

It's only right that all renewables stand on their own feet, right? I think anyone who hasn't understood that over the last three years has wildly miscalculated. We've been on a journey through the development of our storage technology to be able to produce and develop solar at a grid parity level. That means for us combining storage with solar. We don't see any slow down of our activity into next year. None at all. In fact, we're constantly seeking new opportunities to grow and develop that. We will combine technologies together and you've got to move with the market. This is an opportunity we spotted three, four years ago and are now ready to take advantage of that into this year.