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Solar Energy


Solar energy is playing a small but growing part in the renewable energy mix being deployed by the Highlands and Islands.

A Range of Capabilities

The Highlands and Islands have over 20 companies providing services to the solar energy sector. Their capabilities cover:

  • Energy performance certification for domestic and commercial buildings.
  • 3D thermal modelling.
  • Life cycle cost analysis.
  • Manufacture of hot water systems.
  • Installation and performance monitoring.

Highland company AES Ltd of Forres, a fully accredited manufacturer and installer under the UK Government’s Low Carbon Building Programme, was selected to install a solar thermal system at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, supplying 60% of the building’s hot water needs.

Solar Applications

Examples of recent applications include:

  • Highland Council, the largest local authority in the region has a wide range of s2 solar projects, largely in schools, across its area. For instance, Glenelg Primary School on the west coast has been fitted with solar panels to provide renewably generated energy for the classrooms.
  • 30 starter homes fitted with solar panels by Albyn Housing Association (a social landlord providing affordable accommodation) at Alness in East Ross to supply hot water and reduce heating costs.

Training for Growth

Reflecting the increasingly diverse renewables technologies within the Highlands and Islands, Inverness College has a Centre for Sustainable Energy.

One of the Centre’s key objectives is to deliver more courses for the installation and maintenance of micro-renewables (such as solar domestic hot water and photovoltaic systems) and Continuous Professional Development activity in sustainable construction techniques. The College has already trained 140 individuals in the installation of solar domestic hot water equipment.