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Wildlife artist unveils solar energy masterpiece

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A wildlife artist has given back to the environment he captures in his art work - by powering his studio with cutting-edge renewable energy. 

Renowned artist Bill Neill, who has lived on South Uist with wife Norma for the past 30 years, is best known for his watercolour and acrylic paintings of the local flora and fauna.

After moving to the Western Isles Bill was immediately impressed by the open landscape which is dotted with spectacular lochs, enormous skies and prolific wildlife, and as an avid conservationist he was keen to retain the landscape he loves to paint.

Recently Bill decided to branch out into solar energy in order to do his part for the environment as well as supplement his income and reduce his electricity bills.

He said: "As a lover of wildlife I have been interested in solar energy for a while and was keen to experiment with different ways of producing green energy.

"Above all I felt the need to reduce my carbon footprint, and was delighted to discover a solar panel company working directly from South Uist who were able to install my system with minimal disruption."

Bill and Norma had a 16 panel solar PV system installed by Absolute Solar and Wind on their property near Bill's studio and gallery in Askernish in December 2011 and are already seeing the benefits.

He added: "I generate and use a lot of my own energy now, which not only has a feel good factor but has also given us a great financial investment as we have lower out-goings and also receive money back through the Government's feed-in tariff.

"We've been very pleased with the results so far. On a sunny day it generates energy before we even get up. Of course it doesn't need to be hot to generate electricity, even on clear cool days it will be working away.

By May, Bill and Norma's ground mounted system had already produced 1260kWh of clean green energy despite the winter months' low light levels.

Absolute Solar and Wind has a base on South Uist which is headed up by local surveyor Willie MacDonald and installer Tom Newall.

Willie said: "Bill and Norma's system was a great one to work on and shows their forward-thinking nature.

"As a lover of nature Bill is more aware than most of the need to reduce his carbon footprint and give something back to the local environment. Not only that, but the system will generate extra income for the couple and save on electricity costs - now that really is a pretty picture."

For more information on Absolute Solar and Wind please visit: www.absolutesolarandwind.co.uk



Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Absolute Solar and Wind


Notes to editors:

Absolute Solar and Wind was established in Scotland in 2007 and is the country's number one company for solar and renewable energy solutions.

  1. The company was one of the first in Scotland to receive an MCS Accreditation.
  2. Absolute is a member of the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and is one of the best installers of Solar Photovoltaic, Solar thermal and Micro Wind Energy Turbines in the UK.
  3. Absolute offers a complete service: design, sales and installation - throughout the UK 
  4. As an approved installer under the Government MCS accredited scheme, Absolute Solar and Wind is dedicated to photovoltaic renewable energy and is now at the forefront of the UK's rising green energy technology sector.
  5. In April 2010 the UK Government pledged to have 7 million homes using solar power by 2020.
  6. www.beattiegroup.com