A Moray solar panel energy company is planning to double its workforce and expand its production facility.
George Goudsmit, managing director of AES Solar, revealed the plans as it was announced the Forres company had been selected to take part in a Europe-wide renewable energy research project.
Mr Goudsmit said the firm is looking to take on an additional five staff over the next 12 months and another seven the following year. He added that architects had been at the company’s base in Lea Road this week to draw up plans for an expansion of the factory.
Lunched in 1979, AES Solar is one of longest running solar thermal manufacturers in Western Europe. The firm, which has been run by Mr Goudsmit since 1989, currently employs 12 people and six sub-contractors and has a turnover of around £2.3million.
AES Solar was recently named the only solar business selected to participate in the EU-funded Heat4Cool research project. The firm received £250,000 funding to provide its expertise in solar thermal and photovoltaics (pv) systems design for the initiative.
The aim of the project is to create a fully-integrated energy system using all available forms of renewables technology.
The Forres firm is working alongside researchers and companies from Spain, Italy, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and Belgium.
Grant Feasey, senior design engineer with AES Solar said: “I’m thoroughly enjoying the work on the Heat4Cool project. It is fantastic that we have been selected and are able to contribute our expertise.
“It’s a real accolade for us that we were the solar company that were selected to represent solar from thousands of companies and researchers in the whole of Europe.”
Mr Feasey said the project would give AES Solar new expertise in other renewable energies, enabling the firm to identify more business opportunities.
He added: “One of the most exciting parts of the project for us is that will be working on four buildings throughout Europe. Two are actual homes and two are test centres.
“We will be physically installing systems in these premises to test the technologies we are developing with the other partners on the project. The idea is that by the end of the project there will be one super, fully-integrated renewable system that can be replicated across Europe.”