A Sunderland renewable energy company expects 2023 to be a boom time for business as more companies seek to switch from traditional power to solar.
As businesses across the UK grapple with soaring energy costs, South Docks based Vero Power is preparing for a busy year, having already demonstrated the value of their renewable products overseas. The business was created when the leaders of four separate renewable energy companies across the North East came together two years ago, realising that there was more strength in numbers and an opportunity to make an impact on the solar market.
The company manufactures renewable power generators and energy systems for all sectors while installing hybrid, mobile and modular solar power in places that are challenging. A lot of its work has previously gone overseas to South Africa, Mexico, the US and Nigeria, for use on projects in isolated places where traditional power is difficult to generate and communities are completely off-grid.
The company has recently completed two solar battery projects in Zambia for rural off-grid clinics and exported two systems to the Indian Himalayas for a school and a vet clinic. The firm won a £10,000 prize for innovation in September at Teesside’s Festival of Thrift, winning a challenge to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint with their self-designed mobile, hybrid solar power solution. While the award was good for the firm’s profile, it has also triggered “unprecedented” orders from businesses as the green transition gathers pace.
Craig Morgan, Vero Power’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Everyone at Vero got a big boost when we won the festival prize. It was a thumbs up for what we do - which is finding successful solutions for those looking to introduce solar into trickier environments. But the real story of our year has been the sea-change that we are seeing from organisations big and small as they reassess their properties and premises in terms of where they might put solar and look to renewable solutions rather than traditional power.”
As well as interest from the likes of a holiday park in Thirsk and a campsite in Northumberland, Vero Power has had multiple inquiries from companies which had previously never considered solar power.
Mr Morgan said: “When it was first set up, Vero initially provided renewable power to some of the world’s most underserved communities, addressing poverty and jumpstarting efforts to create and accelerate economic activity. We’ll continue to do that next year but the company is now expanding to deploy technology and services across businesses and organisations in the UK to aid customers’ energy transition targets by moving their power generation to renewable sources.
“We’ve been taken aback by the speed with which businesses in the North East have been looking at solar as a way to reduce their carbon footprints and to reduce their soaring energy bills.
“We’ve provided renewable power to the construction, infrastructure, agricultural, rural, petrochemical and events sectors underpinned by our specialist design and engineering team and it’s going to be a major growth industry in 2023.”
The company also believes the North East should aim to make itself a recognised centre of excellence for the solar industry with the prospect of good, green jobs to follow.
A PwC report recently showed that the number of jobs being created in renewable energy is growing four times faster than the overall UK employment market, but that numbers are growing faster in London and the south-east, threatening North East ambitions within green growth.
Mr Morgan added: “We’ve a team of 15 with plans to expand ambitiously next year; there are plenty of renewable energy companies in the North East that have real potential. We just need to ensure that they’re given support wherever possible and we’ll see them grow and expand because the region has the talent and dedication to succeed.”