Forres company has been soaking up the sun for 40 years

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Celebrating 40 years are, left to right: Keith Esson, George Goudsmit (managing director), Jamie Di Sotto (commercial director), Campbell MacLennan (technical director) and Hannah Jakobsen. Pic Marc Hindley

A Forres renewables company that has converted sunshine into energy in every continent of the world, is celebrating a 40-year milestone.

AES Solar is the longest established solar company in Europe and the only one in Scotland to design and manufacture its own solar thermal panels. The company plans to celebrate its four decades in business through a series of events and promotions while highlighting the long-term benefits of solar energy.

Established in 1979, AES Solar carved a niche within the emerging solar panel market. At the time, thermal panels were the only available panels on the market and are used to provide hot water. Later PV panels were introduced to the market with the ability to generate electricity. With the introduction of government incentives, PV and battery storage have become more affordable and available resulting in a rise in popularity.

Specialising in solar

Managing director George Goudsmit said: “Forty years is a long time in this industry, and we’ve seen many companies come and go. We’ve specialised in solar from the beginning and it’s all we’ve ever done. As a result, we’ve sold panels all over the world, and our engineers have been invited to speak at conferences as far away as China. 

“The fact that we are the longest established solar company in Europe shows how skilled we are as a group, and I’m very proud that in our 40th year we are blazing a trail for solar energy.”

To honour the anniversary the company will host a celebratory event on the 21 June to mark the Summer Solstice. As the longest day of the year the sun can shine for up to 21 hours in some parts of the world. In-house, staff at AES Solar will take on a number of personal challenges, with other exciting events kept under wraps until further details are confirmed.

Forty trees for 40 customers

Keen to emphasise the environmental benefits of solar energy, the company aim to plant 40 trees on behalf of 40 customers. The company is also keen to organise litter picks or beach clean ups in the local area with involvement from community volunteers.

Commercial director Jamie Di Sotto said: “Giving back to the local area and community involvement has always been particularly important to us. We plan to organise a litter pick with 40 volunteers at one of the local beaches or woodlands. We’re inviting people to get in touch with us if they can help or have a location in mind. This is an issue close to our hearts, and we hope this will raise awareness of climate change and the benefits of solar panels and renewable energy.

“The last forty years are just the beginning. Solar has an exciting future. Batteries are making an appearance, and these allow solar energy to be stored for later use. With electric cars replacing petrol and diesel by 2035, solar power will be even more widespread over the next 40 years.