Moray firm set to expand and create jobs

From left - Scott McKnockiter of HE and George Goudsmit of AES (credit AES)
From left - Scott McKnockiter of HE and George Goudsmit of AES (credit AES)

A solar energy manufacturer in Forres, Moray is set to expand and create new jobs.

AES Solar has secured up to £196,700 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to support the company’s expansion.

Plans include extending the workshop space and purchasing additional plant and equipment to increase the firm’s manufacturing and design capacity. There will be an improved sales and marketing strategy to help increase the company’s market share in the UK and internationally.

The project is expected to increase the company’s workforce from 14 to 19 full time equivalent (FTE) posts, international sales by up to £157,000 and turnover by more than £1m.

New posts set to be created include a technical engineer, marketing manager and sales manager. There will also be a placement for a marketing graduate.

Founded 40 years ago, AES Solar is the longest established solar company in Western Europe. It is the only company in Scotland to design and manufacture its own solar thermal panels, as well as specialising in the installation of solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

Under the guidance of managing director, George Goudsmit, the firm has continuously evolved to become Scotland’s solar experts, including the latest advances in battery storage, electric vehicle charging and off-grid systems.

The company also has an established track record in research and development in the solar energy sector, partnering with leading academic institutions and commercial players.

It has experienced organic growth over the years, but now has the opportunity to grow considerably through ambitious transformation.

Scott McKnockiter, business development account manager with HIE, said:

“Demand for renewable energy solutions, such as those produced by AES, is expected to increase exponentially as we move towards a carbon neutral economy to counter the climate emergency. AES has shown great initiative in its commitment to research and development of new products. The company’s track record is strong, and it has grown into a valuable contributor to the local economy and a valued employer.

“We very much welcome the company’s latest ambitions to increase its market share and international trade, and to strengthen its role as a local employer, and delighted to be able to support these plans.”

George Goudsmit, AES managing director, said:

“We are thrilled to have secured this funding from HIE, timed perfectly as we celebrate 40 uninterrupted years in business and look ahead to the next 40. The demand for self-generated clean energy has never been stronger and this will only grow as we move towards the UK’s net zero carbon emission target. This expansion and increased workforce will allow us to continuously meet the demand of the UK’s clean energy requirements.

“We are extremely proud of our history and connection to the Moray area and the ongoing support from HIE will allow us to continue fostering local talent through graduate schemes and modern apprentices while remaining a proactive and supportive figure within the local community and economy.”

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