Home » Scotland timber specialist GMG Energy switches on huge solar array at highlands facility

Scotland timber specialist GMG Energy switches on huge solar array at highlands facility

by Liam Turner
Solar panels on the roof of GMG Energy's production facility in Sutherland, Scotland

A Scottish sustainable timber products specialist has put into operation a newly installed solar array on the roof of its production facility in Sutherland.

GMG Energy – which provides wood pellets for biomass boilers and timber from renewable sources for heating – says the initiative means it can now transition from expensive and polluting diesel generators for its energy-intensive activities toward electricity created from the long daylight hours of the north-east of Scotland.

The £100,000 installation and commissioning of the new power system has been supported by a £70,000 loan from the Energy Saving Trust, repayable over nine years.

In addition, the £34,000 introduction of three-phase power for GMG’s electric motors and other heavy loads has been supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) with a 50% grant.

Further, the HIE will allow GMG Energy to provide surplus energy to the National Grid.

The supply and installation of the solar array was carried out in one day by Dumfries and Galloway-based solar specialists RJW Electrical Services.

Malcolm Morrison (pictured, right), director of GMG Energy, said: “The team at GMG is very conscious that it operates in a pristine and beautiful part of the Highlands, and everyone is pleased to be able to make a tangible contribution towards keeping it that way.

“Now that the solar array – which consists of more than 100 panels which cover the roof of our production shed – is up and running, we can cut back dramatically on fossil fuel consumption, and our aim is that solar will, in the near future, be responsible for 100% of our energy needs.

“I would like to express my admiration for the efficient, understanding, and professional way that Highlands and Islands Enterprise dealt with our application for support and also for the generous terms that the Energy Saving Trust offered to allow us to proceed with this major local initiative.”

GMG Energy, which originated on a farm in the Strath of Halladale in Sutherland, processes in the region of 2,000 tonnes of timber a year.

More on solar:

It has recently spent in the region of £100,000 on timber treatment equipment, which GMG says will open up new markets among construction companies and farm businesses that require treated and stress-tested products.

It also maintains and services large scale solar-panel farms.

Image: Solar panels on the roof of GMG Energy’s production facility in Sutherland, Scotland

Read next: Bridging the gap between timber and modern construction

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