Solar energy engineering and beyond

Your attention is invited to an interview with Sergey Druzenko, the Director of Avenston Engineering. This company implements projects in the field of solar energy, and is also engaged in the implementation of modern MEP systems.

Dear Sergey. Please, tell us a few words about Avenston Engineering

Hello. Our company was established at the beginning of 2021 on the basis of the engineering department of Avenston LLC. This was a strategic decision of our group’s top management, which has big plans to expand its activities. The new company will focus on activities primarily related to the design and installation of engineering systems, as well as the implementation of solar energy projects in the segment of small and medium-sized capacities (ground and rooftop solar power plants for private households and business, solar power plants for own consumption, etc). We not only build, but also deal with all issues related to the operation and maintenance of the objects already mounted by our business group. Unlike other companies in our group, we focus on the implementation of projects exclusively on the territory of Ukraine.

Are any projects from the areas listed by you already being implemented or are they just plans?

Yes, we have been actively working from the very beginning. Fortunately, we didn’t start from zero, but had an excellent base to start. To date, the company has already signed several service contracts for the operation and maintenance of industrial solar power plants, it is planned to build one commercial rooftop solar power plant and successfully completed the first stages of several tenders for the design and installation of engineering systems. I think that in the first half of 2021 we will sign about a dozen new contracts, thereby laying a solid foundation for further work and growth.

The Ukrainian solar energy market is going through hard times. Do you believe in the prospects of this segment?

Obviously, changes in green legislation and the COVID-19 pandemic have already made significant adjustments to the plans of all participants in the solar energy market. We understand that in the near future we should not expect any serious activity in the segment of utility-scale solar PV farms that operate under a “green” tariff or any other special tariff (for example, obtained through the system of “green” auctions). But at the same time, the segment of private solar power plants (in which our team has a lot of practical experience) continues to actively develop. And in connection with the rise in electricity prices for legal entities, investments in rooftop solar power plants operating on their own consumption are becoming more promising and attractive. It can be not only grid-connected solar installations, but also off-grid or backup photovoltaic power supply systems. I am sure that such solar energy projects will become more and more popular and in demand in the coming years. Fortunately, solar energy is renowned for its flexibility. We can not only solve technical problems, but also do it based on introducing such modern solutions as BIPV solar modules, solar carports, agrivoltaic technologies and much more.

How long have you been in the solar industry?

For over 15 years. A huge advantage of our team is in its great practical experience in this area. For example, my personal experience in solar energy started in 2005. During this time, I had the opportunity to work for several years as the head of the solar cell production department at the Kvazar plant, the head of the department for capital construction of solar power plants at the Rentechno, the head of the service department and later as the director of capital construction at the Avenston company. Together with me, the Avenston Engineering team consists of highly qualified specialists with similar experience in photovoltaics. Several people started their professional career in the production of solar photovoltaic cells and solar panels, others have extensive experience in the construction of solar power plants. The engineering department of the company took part in the design of a dozen solar power plants with a total capacity of over 150 MW. Now a great team has gathered in our company – these are certified engineers, PhDs, as well as young scientists who, in parallel with their work, are completing their postgraduate studies. I am sure that we have an excellent base for successful work in the areas we have chosen.

Why did engineering systems appear among the services of your company?

This is a very close and potentially interesting direction for us. The Avenston Group has periodically participated in the design and implementation of such systems, but we did not advertise this activity so much, focusing on industrial solar power plants. But at the stage of industry transformation, we made a strategic decision to move towards more complex solutions. In part, this is the diversification of our corporate service portfolio. By introducing solar energy technologies for commercial enterprises, we offer their deep integration into existing electrical systems, as well as consider the possibility of optimizing other systems, for example, lighting or heating systems. Just implementation of a renewable energy solution is irrational without parallel measures to save consumption and improve energy efficiency. I think that the time for individual decisions is already running out. The future lies precisely with an integrated approach that will allow our clients to obtain the most optimal result, as well as provide greater control over all stages of the implementation of their projects.

What goals do you set for the company?

First of all, it is the launch and optimization of all key business processes. We are building not just a situational business project, but laying the foundation for long-term growth. For 2021, key performance indicators have already been formed and approved. It includes such parameters as operating income, margin, EBITDA and some others. After reaching the planned indicators, in the medium term, my main task is to ensure a stable growth of the company’s annual income at the level of at least 15-20%. Also, great attention will be paid to the continuous improvement of the quality of our services.

Thank you for your time and wish you great success!

Thank you. We are working on it.