Lightsouce is predicting a ‘solar boom’ in Scotland and has opened a new office in Livingston to take advantage of it. 

Opening the new office, Scotalnd's energy minister, Fergus Ewing welcomed the development stating that solar will play “a significant role” in Scotland.

The UK’s largest developer claims to have around 70 potential ground-mount sites lined up in Scotland already and sees a healthy opportunity for commercial and domestic applications too.

The company is aiming to invest as much as £50 million in the region but admits that this figure will be largely dependent on the incoming contracts for difference (CfD) mechanism. The developer has warned that onshore wind could take up a large proportion of the CfD budget, limiting the deployment of PV. 

Addressing the subject of policy changes, Ewing said: “I hope we will see some continuity of policy, and not too much chopping and changing.”

Nick Boyle, CEO at Lightsource Renewable Energy, explained the company’s decision to open a Scottish office: “The habit of turning on a light, running a bath, or flicking the kettle on is not going out of fashion, and with the UK’s fossil fuels resources’ being depleted in the next number of years, we need to provide home-grown electricity wherever possible. Advances in solar PV technology have seen increased efficiency of panels and reductions in manufacturing costs, making solar PV a viable power source to add to Scotland’s overall energy mix.”

Boyle added that he had high hopes for solar’s potential in Scotland, he said: “In just over three years, Lightsource has deployed over £1.1 billion of UK retail investment into the local renewable energy economy and we hope to continue this momentum through significant investment into projects developed in Scotland as well.” 

Lightsource estimates that PV could provide more than 20% of Scotland’s total energy production. The developer calculates that this level of deployment would negate the emission of 2.8 million tonnes in carbon emissions every year, creating hundreds of jobs for the Scottish economy.