Solar energy is taking off in South Ayrshire with the number of panels rising significantly this year.
The number of solar pv panels in South Ayrshire rose from 702 to 869 between December 2013 and December 2014 – a 24% increase. The same figures for Galloway show a 9% rise, from 2,051 to 2,243.
And its not just homeowners who are reaping the benefits of energy direct from the sun.
Girvan Academy has a 450 watt, wall-mounted PV system, which was installed in 2000 with DTI funding.
It is used as a teaching aid to educate and give pupils experience of working with a renewable technology. Barr Primary, Pinwherry Primary and Dailly Primary each had around 2.5KW of PV panels with display boards installed in 2008 with funding from Scottish and Southern Energy and the Government’s Low Carbon Building Programme Phase II. South Ayrshire Council also has solar thermal panels on a number of sheltered housing units.
Recent research as part of the Scottish ‘Solar Vision’ project, which plotted regions of the country which could best benefit from solar technology, has revealed parts of Carrick enjoy the same sunshine levels as parts of Devon, East Anglia and much of South Wales.
Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager, Onshore Renewables at Scottish Renewables, said: “Solar pv provides clean, cheap electricity and is perfect for both homes and businesses and public buildings like schools and leisure centres, where it can be used on-site to reduce fuel bills and carbon emissions.
“It will surprise many that the electricity generation potential of a solar PV array in parts of south west Scotland is very similar to, if not better than, one in East Anglia or even parts of Devon, which is home to some of England’s best sunshine.
“Solar in Scotland is quite counter-intuitive, but advances in solar panel design and the falling cost of the technology means parts of the country really can be a hotspot for this type of green energy.”