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Wildlife artist unveils solar energy masterpiece

by Beattie Communications [viewed 2545 times]

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

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

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

“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.”

Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Absolute Solar and Wind

Solar panels South Uist

Solar panels South Uist

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