As we approach the end of 2020, it’s time to reflect on the highlights and the challenges of a year, unlike any other in our annual year review.
It would be impossible to write this review without mentioning the impact of COVID-19. Along with many other construction companies up and down the country we halted all non-essential installation work in mid-March. We waved goodbye to our bustling office and started the process of working from home.
Luckily, we were able to welcome all the team back from furlough and we were fully operational by August. With a small core team of essential staff in the office, the majority of the team continue to work from home. Although I miss the daily interactions of the AES Solar office, the team have adapted so well to remote working. We have truly utilised video conferencing for professional and social occasions alike…Zoom quiz anyone??
New Faces in 2020
AES Solar has grown by six members of staff in 2020!
First, Rob Wilson joined us as a familiar face to the AES Solar team. Rob is currently completing his masters in Edinburgh. He takes up the role of Regional Operative assisting in projects and surveying in the Central Belt.
Natalie Hindle joined us in February as a designated receptionist. As the first point of customer contact, Natalie has made a huge difference to the team. She is a delight to speak to with her warm and sunny manner. Exactly what we look for here at AES Solar!
Despite the uncertainties of 2020, we continued to welcome four more members of staff to the team. First, Jordan MacDonald joined us as Operations Coordinator. Jordan has already proved himself an invaluable addition to our operations and workshop team. We then welcomed Kevin Walker and David Roszak to the team as Electrician and Solar PV installers. Finally, Connor Sneddon joined the team as a graduate electrical engineer. These new team members will increase our installation capacity and are a very welcome addition to AES Solar.
Electrifying Growth for Renewables
AES Solar’s year of growth follows a very welcome trend within the wider industry. Renewable energy is set to hit record growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a sharp contrast compared to the declining fossil fuel sector.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently reported record levels of renewable electricity installation for 2020. Almost 90% of electricity generated was renewable, compared to 10% powered by gas and coal.
This was also recently supported by the IEA confirming solar power as the ‘cheapest electricity in history’. With this key milestone achieved, a surge of renewables is predicted over the next decade. We can’t wait to be at the forefront of the energy revolution. The future of solar is well and truly bright!
This growing popularity of renewables is evident in our own work schedule. As a result, we have continued to work on exciting projects despite restrictions.
This has been a year full of large scale commercial projects. With the large internal spaces and outdoor working, we can ensure our staff and others are safe. As restrictions eased we completed our biggest installation of the year, with a fantastic 110.5 kWp solar PV system on Elgin Truck & Van Centre!
More recently, we were delighted to work with local company Gairland. Gairland owns and operates three serviced business centres in Moray. They added solar PV to all 3 of their business centres, just in time for Christmas. Their tenant businesses will continue to enjoy low cost, low carbon energy for years to come!
Simultaneously, we’ve also been able to work on several large scale, new-build housing developments. This housing development in Nairn utilised these stunning Viridian Solar PV panels. Reducing ongoing energy costs for homeowners, ensuring environmental targets are met and lowering carbon footprint…what’s not to love?
Large Scale to Solar Slates
We also had the opportunity to work on an exciting solar slate project this year with GB-Sol! This is a fairly new technology to the UK, however gaining increasing popularity in the United States and we predict here too. Never one to back down from broadening our solar expertise we couldn’t wait to try our hand at this new technology.
That’s not to say we haven’t worked on domestic installs of course! We have taken all necessary safety precautions to work on your retrofit and new-build properties. Here at AES Solar we love helping you achieve your sustainability ambitions. We are increasingly seeing customers embrace the full solar technology package. Whether that’s solar PV, solar thermal, battery storage, electric vehicle chargers…or all four!
The Sky’s the Limit
Although this year saw a pause to glitzy award ceremonies and dos, our staff have continued to go above and beyond to work on their personal and professional development!
We had two members of staff, Hannah Jakobsen and Cameron Duncan, nominated for a Scottish Renewables award. The duo were shortlisted in the Young Professionals Green Energy Awards 2020.
Meanwhile, we’ve also had two members of staff undertake Modern Apprenticeships and gain their SQA Diploma at SCQF Level 6. Matthew Milne gained his qualification in Information Technology and Telecommunications Professionals and Hannah Jakobsen in Digital Marketing. Wholehearted congratulations to both!
Our team members have continued to get “out and about” in 2020. We have had a number of staff partake in virtual events and conferences. Josh King and Grant Feasey have both been speakers on virtual panels. Together, we are continuing to position AES Solar as a leading industry expert.
Speaking of Josh, congratulations are definitely in order! Josh King has recently become a member of the AES Solar Board of Directors. He will now take up the position of Operations Director. In addition to this, Josh has also been elected to Vice-Chair of STA Scotland. This is brilliant news for Josh and AES Solar. We’re very fortunate to have him and I know the whole team are behind him!
Leading the way with the AES Luminary
We are also delighted to announce the new name for our solar thermal collector, the AES Luminary. As industry experts within the solar industry (and not to mention our intrinsic relationship with the sun) this name seemed perfect for our solar thermal collector. With an increase in solar thermal incentives across the UK, we are predicting a glowing year for solar thermal in 2021 and beyond!
Ready, set, brand
After rebranding and launching our brand new website in 2019 we have continued to shape and define the AES Solar brand. We want to embrace and communicate the positive culture surrounding our company. Innovation takes many forms and here at AES Solar we always look to challenge the norm. We look forward to announcing a fresh vision statement and original set of core values in the new year!
In signing off, I would like to thank my wonderfully talented team for all their efforts this past year. Their hard work and dedication in times of adversity have been invaluable and a testament to our successes to date.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our new and existing customers, clients and partners who have continued to support us in 2020.
Throughout this festive period and as we move into a new (and hopefully better) year I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you the happiest of Christmases and health and prosperity in the new year.
George Goudsmit, Managing Director
View our digital Christmas card here.