Richard Ellis, founder of Elltec Energy Services Ltd. gives some back story,

Richard Ellis Elltec energy’s Managing Director and CEO. (MIET) Professional Member of the IET and Technical Contributor to the IET COP 2nd edition 2022 for grid connected solar. Technical committee member (certifications and standards) for Solar Energy UK. Solar Photovoltaic Industry professional since 2005.

Richard Started his journey into the electrical and electronic service industry in 1984 at age 16.

Richards Dad and Grandfather were both electrical engineers. In 1983 Richards Dad decided to add on to his electrical contracting business by opening a small traditional corner shop electrical retail and domestic goods repair service in a village called Williamstown nestled within the famous Rhondda Valley (photo above)  This during the time of the miners strike where the community centre next door was handing out free food parcels. “I thought he was mad” said Richard when asked about his life experiences growing up. “He would give out free 100-watt lightbulbs to be included within each food parcel that the community centre handed out”.” Times were hard!”. “Dad had 5 kids and there was not much work coming in”. He was a determined and resilient person and always had enormous faith”. “I look back to those days and I really don’t know he did it!” One minute he’s working out of van being a sparky and the next he’s opened a bloody shop during the recession and miners’ strike”. During the day Richard helped his dad on electrical contract work and helped him in the shop and workshop. In the evenings he attended local technical colleges to gain a greater understanding of electrical principles and electronics

In the late 90s he ventured into Solar Photovoltaics after early experimentations with PV & off grid battery systems powering small music festivals and beach parties. This led him also into opening a local music recording and rehearsal facility in 2005. “I had a workshop upstairs where during the day I would be mounting PV inverters on backboards and building my own switch boards etc. This was between touring as a stage tech and running the studios during the night”!

To further advance his knowledge of Photovoltaics, Richard also worked part time at a Cardiff based PV engineering company which was spun out of a research dept based at Cardiff University. (The contact came from a course lecturer ex BP solar at Guildford College to where Richard was one of the first to attend the brand new City and Guilds grid tied solar installation course in 2005.)   His Various roles included PV module manufacturing, testing equipment. (IV curve and light simulation) specialist cell cutting techniques and grid tied and off grid installations. He learnt first hand in the manufacturing process of hand made solar modules.

His projects included working within a team developing a customized battery/PV system for powering the drive train of custom-built vehicle for the annual Solar car competition In Australia. In 2007 He also helped to develop and trial a Solar PV slate (roof integration) which was then successfully marketed and sold as the heritage slate.

During the same year Richard was involved with root cause fault Analyse project for BP solar Spain to develop a mobile test facility for roof integrated PV following a pattern of systemic failures. Other interesting projects he worked on during this period included vertical axis wind turbines coupled with PV for street lighting In Hounslow and the Thames Barrier walkway.

Richard continued within the Solar Photovoltaic industry developing a deep fundamental understanding of PV and inverter Technologies. He Constructed and commissioned the first UK solar ground mounted system in Oxford in 2008, provided on site engineering services for the Woking canopy 80KW BP Romag Glass-Glass install at Albion square Woking For the low carbon UK government funded demonstration scheme.

Richard was one of the first entrants on to the official UK MCS installer scheme for the UK FIT Regime from 2009 installing many small-scale solar PV roof and ground mounted projects.  "I even made it into  the local newspaper". https://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/sun-shines-for-elltec-1911474

In 2011 he moved in utility scale solar helping to set up a dedicated O&M business working alongside Lightsource ( a start-up company originally funded by Octopus Investments) initially with a handful of 50KW systems then within a 2 year period, almost 1.8GW of Octopus owned large scale farms. From there, he went into the construction of solar farms providing technical DD and QS services.

Richard then moved into technical asset management providing his knowledge and expertise overseeing a portfolio of 2.4GW of operational solar farms (228 sites) and built up a specialist team of site inspectors.

He joined the IET in 2017 and has contributed to the IET code of practice for grid tied solar 2nd edition 2022. in 2019 he provided independent specialist solar PV technical consultancy services to a large solar fund for a brief period. During the covid 19 downtime period, he experimented with Bifacial solar panels installing a 2.5 KWP garden pergola array and continually monitored the uplift performance gains. He shared his findings with a local university project.

Richard then worked alongside a large German EPC to provide onsite technical due diligence during the construction of large-scale solar farms. This included the 10MW (2022/23) Carn Nicholas solar Farm (Kilvey Hill Swansea.) This was one of the most challenging sites he ever encountered due to the topography and coastal location. It can be easily seen on top of the " kilvey" when traveling east to west on the M4 within the Port Talbot stretch

During the last 12 years Richard has carried out more than 1100 technical site inspections on operational solar farms and has overseen solar many solar farm construction projects providing Owner’s engineering services, quality stewardship and ensuring a high quality standard is achieved.

He Is familiar with most of the UK’s large scale solar farms and some European solar parks. On the way, he has become familiar with grid, HV and DNO, ENA/DSO requirements, site. development and shovel ready project prerequisites. Through his practical experience and background, he has a gained deep level of understanding of fault finding, performance issues and root cause analysis. He is always keen to promote quality and good standards of practice throughout the Solar PV industry. Equally at home also still providing grid tied and off grid systems and sharing his passion for solar generated electricity.