Anesco has topped a list of Britain’s top 100 private firms with the fastest-growing profits after three years of growth led to the company reaching almost £21 million in operating profits in 2015.

The energy efficiency company and solar developer, most recently seen bringing numerous community solar projects on line, entered the Sunday Times Profit Track 100 for the first time this year and came top ahead of second-place appliance manufacturer Gtech.

It was followed closely by Solarcentury, which came in fifth on the list after seeing its annual profit grow by 128.84%. The success of both these companies shows the impact of government subsidies in promoting deployment, with the recent closure of the Renewables Obligation sparking an intense rush in the preceding months.

Adrian Pike, chief executive of Anesco, said: “To appear in the Profit Track 100 for the first time is thrilling, but to be at number one is something else. As an organisation we continue to experience sustained growth and this is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team, who remain committed to making a difference and to reducing carbon.”

The Reading-based firm employs in excess of 150 permanent members of staff, as well as up to 600 contractors and 103 supply chain partners and logistics staff employed at any one time. Its solar PV installations are reported to be generating over 481,000MWh .

The Sunday Times list uses profit growth from the last three years, which saw Anesco increase its profits by an average of 179% a year. Most recently this has been fuelled by sales of £160 million in 2015, up from just £1 million in 2012. This has also led to the company’s inclusion in the top 20 firms with the fastest-growing sales, which have increased by over 95% in the last three years.

Growth in both sales and profits are expected to continue, with the company’s latest financial results reportedly forecasting £210m in sales in the year to March 2016.

While Anesco supplies renewable heat products and energy audit services, the company’s recent activity has been heavily linked to community solar energy projects. A number of sites developed by Anesco have been targeted by community groups for purchase, most recently the Bristol Energy Co-operative which recently raised the £2 million needed to acquire the 4.6MW Puriton solar farm.

Anesco also constructed two community solar farms last month for Stratford Community Energy – chaired by Pike – and Chesterfield Community Energy, which are seeking to attract investment from members of the public through the purchase of solar bonds.

“We’re passionate about supporting local people and local communities. Through our projects we’re creating jobs, both locally and through the supply chain. Our charitable trust continues to work closely with local schools and colleges in the region to help educate the next generation. We’re also proud to be supporting community energy projects across the country that are making a difference on a local level,” Pike commented.

The company says it was also the first to incorporate commercial scale battery storage into its projects, with the first unit installed in 2014. Ten more have since been put into operation, seeking to store energy before releasing it at periods of peak demand, with projects in Oxcroft and elsewhere making solar a dispatchable energy alternative for the grid.

The supplier also works in domestic storage and has launched an energy service company (ESCO) offering organisations funded energy efficiency solutions based on current energy usage.