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Blofield renewables firm RenEnergy set to double sales

Soaring demand for renewable energy is set to double sales at RenEnergy this year, according to the firm’s new chief executive.

Stephen Thorley, who was appointed to the new post earlier this year, said the Blofield Heath-based company was seeing a steep uplift in interest in renewable energy systems, particularly photovoltaic (PV) panels.

The firm has grown to a £3m-turnover business since its launch in 2006, designing, supplying and installing PV systems, air and ground source heat pumps and small wind turbines, with staff increasing from five to 30 last year.

Its main customers range from homeowners and farmers to developers, landowners and businesses, and include two Norfolk councils and Norwich-based LSI Architecture.

The company has recently worked on some of the country's largest renewable energy projects, including the 100 kilowatt PV array on a grain store in Cambridge, and a large heat pump on a Norfolk farm.

Mr Thorley said the company was also looking to significantly increase the firm's workforce, partly through a major potential PV deal with an unnamed customer which is currently being negotiated.

He said: "We are close to putting a significant deal together to install PV, which would mean, in East Anglia, us taking on another 15 to 20 staff. If we are successful with this bigger project we will be looking to do more like it over the next two to three years."

Mr Thorley said the government's feed-in tariff scheme, which guarantees a fixed rate of payment per unit of electricity produced by renewable sources, had helped make technology such as PV cost-effective.

Additional support, under the government's Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, is also expected to be unveiled in the near future.

The company employs three people in Hampshire, which is set to grow to four or five this year, and has an office in London. The company also strengthened its senior management team this year with the appointment of an operations manager, Phil Hunt, a renewable energy engineer with 10 years' experience in the sector.

Mr Thorley added: "Our projections are that, even without the major projects, sales will double this year to £6m."