Speech by the Lord Lieutenant, Major General The Hon Seymour Monro CBE, LV

Managing Director and Staff of AES Solar, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On the 21st April last year- Her late Majesty’s Birthday- we stood here and announced the award of The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development Category to AES Solar. It was breakfast time but it was a tremendously proud and happy occasion! You are now one of the last firms to receive The Queen’s Award for Enterprise as it became The King’s Award just 10 days ago.

This is a brilliant achievement and so well deserved after many years of excellent work first in the sheds behind the first hole at Forres Golf Course and then at Lea Road since 1998.

AES Solar was the Moray SME of the Year in 2016 and winner of the HIE Energy and Efficiency Award in 2019.In 2014 a thermal system was installed at Balmoral and in 2021 George Goudsmit, our ‘solar pioneer’, was given a UK Industry Lifetime Achievement Award.

Today AES Solar is the only UK based designer and manufacturer of thermal panels.

AES Solar joins 4 other firms in Moray who have been awarded the QAE in the past 10 years: Gaia Earth Sciences, Gordon and Macphail, Forsyths and Johnstons of Elgin. A very select band!

There are of course other deserving firms in Moray, but you not only have to be an outstanding business but you have also to be able to spend the time and the effort it takes to complete the application form and to write it in a manner which convinces the judges! This is no mean feat and there are those in this room who should be congratulated for their persuasive submission.

However I do hope that other firms will put themselves forward for what is now The King’s Award for Enterprise’ encouraged by the hugely deserved success of AES Solar.

It has been a most challenging past few years and many economic challenges continue to test even the best of firms. It is excellent that you are in an enterprise which is both helping our current energy crisis and also our path to more sustainable energy in the future.

You at AES Solar are a great team with an inspirational leader. You have been flying the QAE flag since last April, and it is now my honour and pleasure, on behalf of HM The King, to present you with The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development Category 2022.