‘People thought I was a bit crazy’ back in 2010, says Moray solar chief

Ronan Kilduff, managing director of Elgin Energy at the Bann Road project in Antrim, their largest solar farm to date in Northern Ireland. Tuesday 10th April 2018. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX ©
Ronan Kilduff, managing director of Elgin Energy at the Bann Road project in Antrim, their largest solar farm to date in Northern Ireland. Tuesday 10th April 2018. Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX ©

The man behind Scotland’s two largest solar farms has revealed that everyone thought he was “a bit crazy” when he suggested the technology back in 2010.

With two giant Moray-based projects now in the works, Elgin Energy’s managing director Ronan Kilduff said that, despite having his past detractors, he “loves doing business in Scotland full stop.”

He said: “We are very excited about the prospect that solar can work in Scotland. When I was suggesting this in 2010, everyone thought I was a bit crazy back then.”

Elgin Energy were given a huge shot in the arm with the commission of the 20 megawatt (MW) Speyslaw solar farm in August last year, and quickly followed that up with a proposal for the massive 50MW Milltown Airfield development.

Elgin also operates the 13MW Errol Estate solar farm in Perthshire, which went live last year.

Mr Kilduff said: “Errol was a key win for us and helped us get the two Moray solar projects off the ground. Solar is great as it can be located right beside grid infrastructure unlike certain wind turbines.

“People like it too as its reliable, it makes no noise and it has no moving parts. We generate energy at the time people need it.”

With solar the biggest energy employer in the US, Mr Kilduff said he believes that Scotland will follow suit, with it becoming a bigger employer than oil and gas over the next five years.

He said: “And this is at a time where solar receives no government subsidies. We’re now looking at solar 2.0. This is solar trying to be better than the incumbents.”

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