Agri-Renewables Gets a Platform at all Energy

NFU Scotland’s Renewable Development Initiative (RDI) is helping Scottish farmers and land managers fulfil their energy generating potential.

Speaking at All-Energy, a two-day renewable energy exhibition and conference, being held today and tomorrow (Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 May) at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, RDI co-ordinator Thomas McMillan of Smiths Gore, detailed how the initiative has already shown hundreds of farmers energy projects that are already contributing to farm businesses or at the planning stage.

RDI on-farm open days held across Scotland in the past six months have looked at wind, solar, biomass and anaerobic digestion.  Events on farms this summer will also let farmers see farm-scale wind, hydro, solar and biomass installations.

Speaking in Aberdeen, Mr McMillan said:

“It is fantastic to be given a platform at All Energy to showcase what leading farmers are already doing – or are planning to do - on the renewable energy front in Scotland.

“We have had a great response to the initiative to date and have featured a variety of projects with farmers taking forward a range of technologies at different scales.  

“Our open days have encompassed substantial community projects supported by the CARES fund to farmers leading in the advancement of pioneering technology such as a biomass gasification project.  

“The work on driving agri-renewables forward continues this summer with another programme of on-farm events.  There is an appetite within the sector for practical information and an appreciation that renewables can add value to the business mix.”

Notes to Editors

  • NFU Scotland, with funding from The Scottish Executive and the European Union, has established the Renewable Development Initiative, facilitated by Thomas McMillan of Smiths Gore.
  • The Renewable Initiative website can be visited at
  • Forthcoming on-farm events include the following:

    11th June 2014 - James Duncan Millar, Remony Estate, Acharn, Loch Tay.  The day will start with a presentation from James Duncan Millar detailing the Estates continuous production of electricity from hydro schemes for almost 90 years. The Estate currently has two operational hydro schemes, a 350kW system which was originally installed in 1925 and completely renewed in 1992 and a more recent 490kW scheme which was commissioned in 2013.  Both projects will be visited during the day allowing for a comparison of the old and new systems at both the power house and inlet dams.

    26th June - Davie Smith, Hill of Skilmafilly, Ellon, Aberdeenshire. This visit aims to focus on the construction stage of a wind turbine development.  The scheme consists of three Enercon E70 (2.3MW) wind turbines which are currently being constructed on Hill of Skilmafilly.  Davie Smith will provide a slide show of the construction phase including ground works, civil engineering and turbine selection with specialist input provided by the contract engineers.  Background will also be provided on securing planning consent for the site and securing financial funding for this multi-million pound development.  This event is aimed at farmers, land managers and small developers who are looking to develop renewable energy projects over £1M.

    30th July - Robert Ramsay, West Mains of Kinblethmont, Arbroath.  A practical day’s visit to Robert Ramsay’s West Mains of Kinblethmont farm where he has installed two batch boilers (300kW and 600kW) and two wood chip boilers (75kW and 195kW).  Particular focus will be given to the grain drying system which is run off the two batch boilers and the upgrading works that Robert is looking at undertaking to this system.  In addition to the biomass boilers there is an operational 11kW Gaia wind turbine and a 50kW solar PV system.  The day will begin with an overview of Robert’s vision to the farm and the drivers behind his investment in Renewable Energy and then move onto a number of practical workshops with the installers of the different systems.


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 96/14

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