Solar Brilliance: Shining a light on 2023

Solar Brilliance: Shining a light on 2023

As we approach the end of 2023, we’re shining a light on 2023, a glowing year for AES Solar, in our annual year review!

New Starts in 2023

This year we welcomed Jan Haetzer in the role of Sales Advisor and Callum Milton as Junior Sales Advisor to add invaluable support to our Sales Team to ensure we can bring the power of the sun to as many people’s homes and businesses as possible. We also welcomed Patryk and Damian (DD) to our in-house installation team to help increase our installation capacity. Finally, Dan Hucker joined the workshop team as Workshop Manager, contributing to the optimisation of our manufacturing and warehouse processes. We are thrilled to welcome these five individuals to our team, appreciating the fresh perspectives and innovative ideas they bring with them!

New Wheels

Speaking of new additions, we are now on the road to a renewable future thanks to our new company car – a Tesla Model 3! Staff can use the Tesla for work-related travel, avoiding the usual wear and tear on their personal vehicles. We also had two electric vehicle chargers installed to ensure efficient and speedy on-site charging. With vehicle livery applied by Signed Graphics, the Tesla is transformed into a travelling advertisement whenever our staff are out on-site or conducting surveys!

Shining a light on 2023 with our Tesla Model 3 - a white electric car against a grass field with trees in the background.
On the road to a renewable future with our Tesla Model 3!
Exciting Projects
Uphall Industrial Estate

Back in February of this year, our team installed a colossal 331 kWp solar PV system for Uphall Industrial Estate, boasting a remarkable 728 panels and five SolarEdge inverters. This large-scale commercial installation not only showcases our dedication to advancing solar energy, it also demonstrates our attention to detail evident in both the exterior and interior aspects of the project. Our skilled installers overcame the formidable challenges of a Scottish winter and stock issues, setting the stage for an exciting year ahead!

An aerial shot of a large commercial building with lots of solar panels on the roof as we're shining a light on 2023
Uphall Indsutrial Estate – roof works and internals
Garden Centres Go Green

This year has seen garden centres embrace the power of the sun, with standout projects at Simpsons Garden Centre in Inverness and Mackenzie & Cruickshank in Forres. The 111 kWp system at Simpsons will contribute greatly to the daily requirements of the garden centre, saving 24.63 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, the equivalent of planting 1,131 trees! Meanwhile, at Mackenzie & Cruickshank we installed a sophisticated 73 kWp solar PV system featuring 200 panels on the new extension roof. This design ensures an even distribution of energy generation throughout the day, with an estimated annual production of 49,500 kWh – this is equivalent to carbon sequestered by 160 tree seedlings allowed to grow for 10 years!

A large solar PV system installed on a garden centre across two different buildings
Simpsons Garden Centre is now a green (power) house with this solar PV system.
Peterhead Fish Market

Greenhill Fish Market in Peterhead is fully committed to reducing carbon emissions thanks to this 432-panel, 159 kWp solar PV system and 2 x 66 kW SolarEdge Inverters. This isn’t our first collaboration with the Port Authority. In fact, keen observers can catch a glimpse of our prior contribution – a solar PV system installed back in 2018 – making its impact in the background. I guess you could say we’re ‘hooked’ on helping commercial businesses utilise their large roof spaces to reduce carbon emissions and energy bills in one!

A photo taken on a large commercial roof of a building at the harbour with solar panels on the roof. In the background, you can see another solar panel system on another large building.
Greenhill Fish Market
Powering up Banks O’ Dee Fitness

We’ve been switching on the sunshine at Banks O’ Dee Fitness with this spectacular 100 kWp Solar PV system. This cutting-edge installation not only harnesses the abundant energy of sunlight but also features six Tesla Powerwalls, ensuring the seamless storage of renewable energy for use during less sunny moments. Banks O’ Dee Fitness is lighting up a future where every workout leaves a positive impact on the environment!

A shot taken directly above of a large white roof covered in loads of solar PV panels in an interesting pattern. The building is situated next to a football pitch.
Energising Banks O’ Dee Fitness the solar way!

And it’s not just commercial installs where we’ve seen people go above and beyond in their commitment to sustainable energy!

Ground Mount Solar PV

Proving they are not just for solar farms, we’ve seen a real trend of customers utilising their excess land with a ground-mount solar PV system. These systems can be mounted on a wooden or metal frame such as the example below of this 13 kW PV system consisting of 34 x SunPower panels and a SolarEdge domestic system.

13 kWp ground mount solar PV – wooden frame

Alternatively, ground mount systems can be installed utilising console tubs such as the example below of this 10 kWp solar PV system. These ground mount solutions are turning open spaces into vibrant sources of clean energy, illustrating that sustainability can indeed grow from the ground up!

A 10 kWp ground mount solar PV utilising console tubs
Award Wins

The AES Solar trophy cabinet proudly welcomed four notable additions this year! Our journey began in June at the Scotland Energy Efficiency Awards in Glasgow when we visited the stage three times.

However, it was the Regional Small Scale Project of the Year category that we scooped up the top spot on the night. This award recognised our pioneering solar PV installation on Edinburgh Castle. With this accolade secured, we applied for the nationwide awards in the Solar PV Project of the Year category facing formidable competition from across the UK.

The National Energy Efficiency awards ceremony, held in Birmingham on September 29th was attended by myself and Finance Director, Lynn Davidson. We awaited the results of our category—and to our elation, we emerged victorious! We were absolutely delighted to receive this award for a project that is already so special to us all at AES Solar.

Gold! The moment we were presented our National Energy Efficney Award.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise Presentation

If you cast your mind back to April last year you’ll recall that we were awarded The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise recognising our efforts in Sustainable Development. Fast forward to March 2023, and we proudly hosted the official awards presentation. The distinctive crackle trophy and certificate were presented by the Lord-Lieutenant of Moray, Maj Gen the Hon Seymour Monro CBE LVO. Staff and supporters of the company gathered to mark the special occasion. This included friend of the company and solar enthusiast, Ruby Wax!

Our Queen’s Awards for Enterprise Presentation Ceremony
Exciting Partnerships

This year we were delighted to form a strong new partnership with Lerwick Engineering and Fabrication (LEF) in Shetland. With this exciting collaboration, together we can offer our market-leading solar energy technologies and services to the people and businesses of Shetland. Overcoming logistical challenges that might have otherwise hindered our operations in this region, our partnership with LEF unlocks the full potential of solar energy in Shetland!

Two men shake hands outside a building with two solar panels in front of them as we're shining a light on 2023
LEF’s Electrical and Facilities Management Manager Jordan Hunter and our Commercial Director Jamie.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Summer Solstice Walk for REAP

On the 21st of June, a team of AES Solar staff walked the Moray Coast Trail overnight to raise funds for our charity of the year, REAP Scotland. The Moray Coast Trail is a long-distance path in North-East Scotland. It runs along the coastline of the Moray Council area. The route, which is 72 km long (44.9 miles), runs between Cullen and Forres. Our efforts resulted in £1,130 for a very worthy local charity looking to a world where everyone can afford to heat their homes, eat well and benefit from a healthy and sustainable environment.

A group gather outside a building for a large group photo.
The last group arrive back at base, with some weary legs but big smiles!
The Oxygen Works

AES Solar proudly joined forces with a group of commercial partners including ANM Electrical, Edmundson Electrical Elgin and ARK Estates in a philanthropic initiative to provide and install a solar PV system for The Oxygen Works at absolutely no cost to the charity. With their PV system now fully operational The Oxygen Works can continue to offer their services and therapies to those living with long-term health conditions. The ability to support such a worthy cause stands as a testament to the positive impact that can be achieved through collective solar initiatives.

A group photo for the PV system for charity The Oxygen Works.
Representatives from AES Solar, Edmonson Electrical Elgin, The Oxygen Works and ANM Electrical.
Looking Ahead?

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments in 2023 was our purchasing of the land surrounding our office in Forres which has lain derelict and increasingly unkempt for many years. We recognise the potential in the land that others have deemed unviable with exciting plans for a solar hub to aid in business growth and ambition. One of the most exciting aspects of this venture is the potential for job creation, creating economic opportunities and transforming the space into a hive of activity.

The first stage of this venture will involve a comprehensive cleanup and securing of the land to ensure safety and accessibility after years of neglect have left the site in disarray, with overgrown vegetation. Stay tuned for further updates on this transformative journey!

Signing Off

In signing off the AES Solar year review I would like to thank my wonderfully talented team. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our new and existing customers, clients and partners. This has been an exciting year for AES Solar, and we could not have done it without your continued support. We eagerly anticipate the possibilities that 2024 and beyond hold for us, and we look forward to the continued journey with all of you!

George Goudsmit, Managing Director

View our digital Christmas card here.