Stalwart of the solar industry steps down after four decades

AES Solar has announced that its founder, George Goudsmit, is stepping down as Managing Director at 82 years old. Management of the business, based in Moray, Scotland, will be taken over by the existing senior leadership team as part of a management buyout, which secures the company’s long-term future. 


George says, “When the business started in 1979, it was pioneering the manufacture of solar technology. I was convinced that solar was the logical solution to our energy needs and should be available to all at a reasonable cost. Four decades later, it is satisfying to see that vision become a reality. By focusing solely on solar panels, I grew the business and now our solar installations are on all kinds of buildings from off-grid remote cottages to landmarks like Edinburgh Castle. Interest in solar technology continues to grow and I look forward to watching the new management team take the company forward to the next chapter in renewable energy.”


George took on AES Solar when he moved to Scotland from London in 1989. At that time, it was a small heating company with a sideline in solar panel manufacture. George focused on the solar side of the business, becoming the only UK manufacturer of solar thermal panels and expanding into a range of solar technology. From a modest turnover of £30,000, the business now has a turnover of £10m, with significant growth occurring over the last three years. 


The members involved in the management buyout are Jamie Di Sotto, Commercial Director, Campbell MacLennan, Technical Director, and Lynn Davidson, Finance Director. Despite being in his eighties, George has no intention of retiring and will use his extra time to explore new technologies and trends on behalf of AES Solar.


In 2021, George was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Solar and Storage Awards. As well as noting his infectious enthusiasm and advocacy on behalf of the industry, he was recognised for personally convincing the late Queen Elizabeth II to install solar energy at Balmoral. The company won the royal client by providing Scottish-made products, along with an installation that was sympathetic to the historic importance of the Royal Estate. 


George adds, “The solar industry is a fascinating industry to be in and AES Solar has grown from a pioneer of solar thermal into a firmly established provider of solar energy to commercial and domestic customers. I feel that the company has grown in a harmonious way for clients and employees alike and I am looking forward to exploring new innovation in the sector, safe in the knowledge that the business is in good hands. I always predicted great things for this industry and when I reflect on the past thirty-plus years, there is so much to be proud of.”

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