4 Oct 2012

Sky is the limit for solar contracts

The sky is the limit for renewable energy entrepreneur Gerard Harrison who is exploring new markets after a company merger.

Gerard’s company Helios Eco Solutions – set up with help from Newcastle Science City two years ago – is now trading under the name Rosedale Utilities after a merger with the firm, which is based at Chilton Industrial Estate, County Durham and specialises in providing services to care homes.

The new team has gone on to win a number of lucrative contracts improving the energy efficiency of care homes across the UK and has branched out into a new area of work – installing electric vehicle charging posts and solar photovoltaic panels at commercial properties across the North of England as part of the award-winning EVPV initiative.

The project is the idea of tadea - a northern based not-for-profit organisation specialising in sustainable project management and advice services. tadea’s EVPV project is designed to offset the electricity demand created when charging electric vehicles through the use of solar power panels – reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and strengthening the region’s electric vehicle re-charging infrastructure.

Malcolm Potter, a project manager at tadea, said: “EVPV is a pioneering project and it is revolutionising the way electric vehicles are charged in the North East of England. By working with installers such as Gerard, we’re taking practical and effective steps along the way to making this green mode of transportation even greener.”

To date, Rosedale Utilities has completed EVPV installations at Wearside Golf Club, Sunderland, Mickleton service station near Barnard Castle and NETA training group, Stockton.

The company’s involvement in the initiative came about after the opportunity was identified by Newcastle Science City’s business support team.

Gerard said: “Electric vehicles are the future of transport and thanks to the foresight and networks of the business support team at Newcastle Science City, we are now playing a part in this emerging market.

“We have now become part of the North East Renewables Alliance set up by tadea which has allowed us to join forces with other suppliers to tender for larger projects and we are really excited about developing the company in this direction.”

Following the merger, Rosedale Utilities now employs 26 full-time engineers – having recruited five new members of staff in the past two months – and the firm plans to continue its growth with new contract wins across the UK bolstering its confidence.

Simon Green, head of business support at Newcastle Science City, said: “Gerard has come a long way since we first met at one of our First Friday networking events and it’s incredibly satisfying to see his business continue to evolve and thrive with our support.

“The expertise of his initial business Helios Eco Solutions clearly complements that of Rosedale Utilities and I’m sure the merger will bring new strength and direction to all involved. We’ll continue working with Gerard to ensure Rosedale maximises all of the exciting opportunities that are available to the growing cohort of regional companies providing sustainable solutions to everyday issues.”

Gerard is one of hundreds of North East science and technology entrepreneurs and businesspeople Newcastle Science City has worked with to commercialise new insight-led ideas, helping them to innovate and grow.

Newcastle Science City is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, securing £2.3million of ERDF investment. The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013 is bringing over £300m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.



For more information on Newcastle Science City contact Laura White, on [email protected] 0191 211 3021 or 07739 126 152 or Helen McLoughlin, on [email protected] or 0191 211 3020

For more information on tadea contact Stephen Graham: [email protected]; 01228 400417 (Tuesdays – Thursdays, 0900 – 1700). Alternatively, contact Sarah Gent: [email protected]; 01642 373027 (Mondays and Tuesdays)

Photo caption: Getting in the swing for solar power (l-r) Keith Hodson, vice captain, Wearside Golf Club, Simon Green, head of business support, Newcastle Science City, Gerard Harrison, contracts manager, Rosedale Utilities, Malcolm Potter, project manager, tadea, and Jim Dutton, honorary secretary, Wearside Golf Club.

About Newcastle Science City

Newcastle Science City is funded by Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council and to help the region realise the full economic potential of its science-based industries.

It delivers a range of activities including the development of a close-knit scientific community and encouraging more people to work in scientific industries. Key to its remit is creating innovative high-growth businesses.

Newcastle Science City key achievements

-         Created 23 companies that are now trading in the North East of England

-         Worked with 446 regional companies to commercialise new insight-led ideas, helping them to innovate and grow

-         Promoted Newcastle as a city of science on a regional, national and international level

-         Reached over 6,000 schoolchildren across the city with the Science Education Innovation Partnership (SEIP) programme, which aims to make science more fun, engaging and relevant to students and offers support to teachers

-         Reached 1,373 residents with its community engagement programme of events and activities designed to enable people to use science to help drive change in their communities. It has also assisted 142 residents with skills and personal development and has assisted 72 people with their efforts to get a job.

About ERDF funding

The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme which runs from 2007 to 2013. This is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development.

The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-13 is focusing on:

Innovation – promoting science technology and innovation in businesses and institutions across the region.

Enterprise and business support – encouraging more people to start up in business, particularly those in disadvantaged areas, and helping established businesses develop, grow and innovate.

Over £300m ERDF is available for the region from 2007-13. ERDF investment is limited to 50% of total eligible cost and must be matched by other public and private sources. For every pound of ERDF investment, we lever another pound for the key priorities of innovation, enterprise and business support.

About tadea

tadea is a not-for-profit organisation providing sustainable project management and advice services. Our expertise includes energy efficiency, renewable technologies and sustainable transport.

Working closely with individuals, communities, businesses and the public sector, tadea helps you to reduce the amount of energy you use at home, at work and whilst travelling.

What we do:

  • Energy efficiency projects and scheme management, home insulation schemes and health improvement projects.
  • Corporate and consumer advice services, available on the phone, online and face-to-face.
  • Energy assessments for domestic properties, including Energy Performance Certificates and energy audits.
  • Energy audits for businesses, including Display Energy Certificates, air conditioning inspections and project management services.
  • Consultancy services such as data collection and monitoring, feasibility studies and marketing and communications expertise.

Find out more at: www.tadea.com

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