Activ8 Solar Energies founder scoops Established Entrepreneur of the Year award

Monaghan-based company has installed more than 100,000 solar panels across the country since it was established in 2007

Ciaran Marron, chief executive and founder of Monaghan-based Activ8 Solar Energies, has been named best Established Entrepreneur of the Year at the 26th annual EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards held on Thursday evening.

Recognised by EY as a “pioneer in the solar energy sector in Ireland”, Activ8 Solar Energies has installed more than 100,000 solar panels across the country since it was established in 2007, on both residential and commercial properties.

In June last year the company, which employs close to 200 people, moved into a new headquarters in Carrickmacross in Monaghan which is the first nearly-zero-energy building standard (NZEB) to obtain planning permission in the country.

Renewable energy provider SSE Airtricity is a 50 per cent joint venture partner with Activ8, and this year Activ8 acquired a 50 per cent stake in heat pump company Allbrite.


The company expanded into Britain this year, delivering projects in both Scotland and England. Activ8 aims to open a UK division next year, and target expansion in continental Europe in 2027.

Mr Marron said he was “absolutely thrilled” with his award.

“I’ve been involved in it since 2006, so we’re probably a pioneer in what we do and an early adopter. At the start it was laughed about, but it’s front and centre right now. We’re a leader in our industry and this is true recognition for that,” he said.

“I can’t believe that I got to become a finalist, but to win the category has been fantastic,” he added.

Mr Marron said that looking ahead, Activ8 has a “massive growth strategy”.

“We’re expanding the business very rapidly, with a lot of growth over the next 12 months, and our target is Europe by 2027,” he said

Nominees in the established entrepreneur category are long-standing businesses which are “market leaders” in their sectors and have made a significant contribution to the Irish economy over time.

The other finalists in the established category were Douglas Adams, Connected Health; John Desmond and John O’Callaghan, Cygnum Timber Frame; Michael McCambridge, McCambridge Bread; David Beggs, Pure Pharmacy; Sheena Bailey and Louella Morton, TestReach Ltd; Lorraine Heskin, Gourmet Food Parlour; and Charles Cosgrave, Village Vets.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.