Scotland's largest privately-owned solar farm is celebrating its first full year of green energy production, having created enough power to make 3.3 million litres of ice cream.

Mackie's of Scotland's solar farm, on the family farm near Westertown, Aberdeenshire, was built by Loch Lomond-based Absolute Solar and Wind and became the first and largest solar farm in Scotland.

With a capacity of 1.8mw, the 10-acre site complements four wind turbines totalling 3mw which provide peak power in summer when wind levels tend to drop.

Managing director Mac Mackie said he is proud to be carrying on the legacy of his father, Maitland Mackie, a founder of the ice cream making company.

He said: "My father was a pioneer in wind energy, trialling wind power with an early 50kw model in 1982 and later rejoicing in the output from our four wind turbines, which total 3mw and were installed in stages from 2005.

"The solar farm was completed in 2015, and this development carries on his dream of converting Mackie's and Scotland towards self-sufficiency in renewable energy.

"Thanks to that foresight we now export a surplus of renewable electricity to the grid, a huge step towards our vision to become the greenest company in Britain."

The 7,000-panel plant is capable of creating enough electricity to power 485 homes and is on track to record just under 1.5 million kilowatt hours for this year, 5% above estimates.

A smaller number of solar panels is fitted on the byre roof and a further 400kw of heating power for the office and houses comes from a biomass plant.

The company says packaging is now produced on the farm, which reduces mileage associated with deliveries. The on-site opening of the £600,000 chocolate factory also has the same ethos, minimising the firm's carbon footprint.

Lindsey Roberts, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said: "Mackie's commitment to renewable energy is already clear for all to see, the company's ice cream tubs feature the wind turbines which have been generating power at its farm since 2005.

"The addition of a solar farm 12 months ago shows that although Scotland isn't famous for its sunshine, all forms of renewable energy have their part to play in our energy mix.

"The Mackie's project also demonstrates how well wind and solar power work together, with power now being produced on both sunny, still days and cloudy, overcast one