STA Scotland Beckons New Era of Solar Leadership

Chris Clark takes the helm of STA Scotland after John Forster steps down after three successful years as Chairman.

The establishment of STA Scotland in 2015 has spurred the development of the solar industry in Scotland; raising awareness of the growing role solar has in providing security of supply, alleviating fuel poverty, providing local assets for community ownership, and facilitating the uptake of smart grid technologies. Last year, the STA was officially endorsed in the SNP Manifesto as the association to work with in order to expand solar in Scotland.

The appointment of Chris Clark as the new Chairman signifies STA Scotland’s focus on maintaining momentum on solar deployment in Scotland and a commitment to growing the industry more than fifteen-fold, consistent with the target of deploying at least 6.6GWp by 2030 (should key barriers be reduced).

Also stepping into a new role is Thomas McMillan, who will be STA Scotland’s vice-chair. Thomas said that “the time was right for a new chair to focus on the key issues for the Scottish solar sector; in particular business rates, grid, permitted development rights and building standards.”

Chris added, “I am excited to step up as Chair and to work alongside Thomas who is equally enthusiastic and dedicated to the success of Solar in Scotland. The proactive and productive working group is full of highly committed individuals so my intention is to draw on their wider skill sets and lobby hard for solar. One of my main objectives will be to try and ensure every new building in Scotland, both domestic and non-domestic has as much solar installed on the roof as is possible.”

“STA Scotland wouldn’t have come to exist without John’s dedication and expertise,” said Chris, echoing the abundant accolades for John, who will remain on the STA board and will play an active role in the future success of STA Scotland and the solar industry in Scotland.

John Forster had this to say:

“With a tenure as Chair that has encompassed two Scottish and three UK Governments, it has certainly been an interesting three years. I will openly admit to a sense of pride in what the team at STA Scotland and indeed the wider STA has achieved; we have truly become the voice of solar in Scotland.

I am now delighted to be handing over the leadership of STA Scotland to the new chair Chris Clark and vice-chair Thomas McMillan. As key contributing members to the success story that is STA Scotland, they have both proved that they are committed and powerful advocates for this dynamic solar industry, and will ensure the bright future that the industry and Scotland as a whole deserves.”

Under the new leadership, STA Scotland will capitalise on the range of upcoming opportunities to roll-out greater amounts of solar, such as the revision of the Scottish Building Standards and the transition from DNOs to DSOs. Leveraging the synergies between solar and other forms of low carbon solutions, such as EVs and storage, will also be in the spotlight in 2018.

Chris Clark has worked within the construction industry in Scotland for close to two decades. A qualified consultant engineer, Chris joined Emtec Group in 2011 to establish the Energy division within the group, in an area of the construction industry that was in its infancy. Since his tenure as director, Chris has overseen some of the UK’s largest new build and retro-fit solar contracts, ranging from 250kW to 3MW.

Thomas McMillan is a Chartered Environmentalist with over 15 years’ experience in the environmental, planning and renewable energy consultancy sectors. In his role as Director of the Energy Team in Savills, Thomas is currently involved in over 30 energy projects in the UK including, wind, AD, hydro, biomass, gas CHP, and PV . Specifically on Solar PV, he is working on projects from 20kW roof tops to 20MW solar farms.