MSP visits solar company as sun sets on feed-in tariff

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead recently visited renewable energy company AES Solar at their headquarters in Forres, as a government payback scheme for renewables comes to an end.

The Feed-in Tariff allowed customers to receive a fixed payment per unit for a 20-year term from the date of installation. The scheme comes to an end on 31 March and will be replaced by an ‘export tariff’, where customers can sell their unused electricity to energy companies.

MD George Goudsmit and Operations Manager Josh King recently travelled to Westminster to discuss details of the export tariff with energy minister Claire Perry.

Last chance to register

Mr Lochhead and AES Solar reminded community groups that they can still pre-register for the payback scheme before the date, even if they haven’t had their solar panels fitted yet.

Richard Lochhead
MSP Richard Lochhead visited AES Solar.

Speaking after the meeting Moray’s MSP said: “It was fantastic to meet the team at AES Solar at its headquarters in Forres and hear how this local renewable business continues to grow.  AES has developed partnerships with some big household names, showing that they are not only one of the oldest solar companies in Europe but also one of the most trusted.

“One of the issues we discussed was the end of the Feed-in Tariff scheme at the end of the month – where community groups or charities can install a small scale renewables system, such as solar panels, and can then be paid for the energy they generate.  This might be the kind of project that many local groups in Moray are considering and if so, it is important that they pre-register by the 31 March deadline.

Local workforce

“Given the real need for us to move to renewable technologies to generate energy, there’s huge potential for companies such as AES Solar to grow, creating exciting career opportunities for young people.  AES employ a number of graduates including many who hail from Moray – it is great to have these job opportunities available on our doorstep.”

George Goudsmit has been to Westminster to discuss the Government’s new export tariff. Pic: Marc Hindley

AES Solar Managing Director, George Goudsmit added: “Despite the scheme coming to an end, it doesn’t mean that solar becomes less valuable. Installation now costs less than it has ever done and the demand for electricity is increasing all the time, as is the cost. The ability to generate your own electricity free of charge is the main reason people are buying solar panels.

“The government is currently working on an export tariff to replace the current scheme, and this is something we have been discussing with the energy secretary Claire Perry recently in Westminster.”

“We are an extremely busy, innovative company with a growing workforce and order book. The demand for clean, green and low cost energy is appealing to every household and business out there. It was good to have our local MSP visiting us and taking such an interest in our work and meeting our staff.”

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