North East commercial solar and battery storage installer AR Power is to invest in a larger site and grow its workforce as it embarks on an ambitious growth drive.

The Washington-based company, which manages a complete turnkey solution from design to installation, has invested heavily in staff and resources in the last 12 months with turnover hitting £5.5m for the year ending April 2024.

With the workforce reaching 33 and set to grow, the company – established in 2011 by husband-and-wife team Mark and Maria Dunville – is aiming to hit revenues of £10m in the next 12 months. In three years, it is hoped that turnover will exceed £30m. The workforce is also set to grow from 33 employees, with 14 new jobs being created this year. The team is expected to grow to 75 after three years.

AR Power, the largest and longest established independent solar and battery storage installer in North East England, was last year named ‘Contractor of the Year’ at the National Solar and Storage Live Awards, held in Birmingham.

Maria Dunville, finance director and co-owner, explained: “This last year has been a busy period as we focussed on planning for future growth, investing in more staff, training, and securing further accreditations, including ISO 9001:2015.


“We have done a lot of the hard work by investing in skills and equipment, all while managing the business, ensuring we continued to deliver high impact energy solutions to businesses and organisations across the north and even further afield.”

The company expanded its fleet of vehicles to 11, with four new ones acquired during the last year. The owners are now actively seeking larger premises – ideally a unit of 20-30,000 sq. ft.

The recent appointments of Luke Lobo, as technical manager, and Stephen Armstrong, as head of commercial, will help strengthen the senior leadership team.

In addition, Will Illingworth joins as marketing manager, a new role, as the company aims to raise its profile and sales drive. There’s also been the appointment of Lynn Storey as a dedicated in-house health, safety and environment manager.

Last year AR Power appointed Phil Armstrong as operations and maintenance engineer to grow their capabilities and service offerings for the maintenance of commercial solar systems, overseeing a growing demand for annual service checks whether AR Power have installed the system or not.

Technical director Mark Dunville said: “Going forwards we intend to focus on competing for larger projects. We now have the senior team and greater in-house expertise including a stronger design team, which will enable us to undertake more mid to high-range solar installations. Our pipeline of new work looks strong as more companies and organisations see the huge benefits of generating their own energy.”

AR Power has completed hundreds of commercial solar panel installations to businesses across the UK, from manufacturers, government buildings to universities and public buildings. Clients include Newcastle, Durham and South Tyneside Councils, Dunelm Group, University of Sunderland, Northumbria University, Bishop Auckland College, Atlas Copco, CPI, Port of Blyth and Slaters Electricals.

During the last 18 months, the company secured several big contracts including an installation at manufacturer BHK (UK) in Peterlee – the firm’s largest project to date and one of the largest rooftop solar installations in the North East with 2,344 panels and 1.3MW Solar PV power output.

Elsewhere, the team at AR Power has been working hard, putting measures in place to help achieve additional ISO certifications. In addition to the ISO 9001:2015 which the company was awarded last year, the team more recently achieved ISO 14001:2015 and 45001:2018.

ISO 14001:2015 demonstrates the company has all the relevant measures in place to manage its environmental responsibilities. ISO 45001:2018 is related to occupational health and safety. These latest accreditations add to a lengthy list of quality certifications from Safe Contractor and Cyber Essentials to CHAS Elite, MCS and NAPIT.