Grid Connection Focus to Fife Renewables Event

Wind, biomass and heat pumps on display at Cupar

Issues around grid connection will be a focus for the Renewables Development Initiative’s (RDI) next open day, being staged near Cupar in Fife.

The event is being hosted by Ian Crombie, and his farm manager John Wilson at West Hall Farm – part of Over Rankeilour Farms – on Monday 23 February.  Starting at 10.00am, visitors will be able to see the farm’s biomass boiler, its wind turbine and its heat pump in action.  Workshops looking at the technology on display will also be held.

The 225KW wind turbine has been operational for more than a year but the export capacity on it is limited to 150kW due to grid network constraints. As part of the open day, specific focus will be given to the grid connection problems and the novel solution of how the farm uses its excess electricity to dry woodchip via a bespoke drying system.

The woodchip, in turn, helps power the 150kW biomass boiler which provides heat to the farm house, office and two properties for seasonal workers.

The visit to West Hall is part of the Union’s three-year RDI project, designed to provide sound, independent advice to farmers and land managers across Scotland on renewable energy.  Through a programme of on-farm events, co-ordinated by Thomas McMillan of Smiths Gore, the initiative has already shown hundreds of Scottish farmers energy projects that are contributing to farm businesses or are at the planning stage.  On-farm days held in 2014 looked at wind, solar, biomass, gasification, hydro, biodiesel, heat pumps and anaerobic digestion.  Workshops built around the events have brought in experts to cover elements such as finance, construction, grid connection and community schemes.

Further RDI events will be held in Ellon, Aberdeenshire and Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire in May.

Notes to Editors

  • A photograph of Ian Crombie and John Wilson is available on request from
  • For more information about the Renewables Development Initiative please visit the website:
  • The following RDI events are scheduled:

    Week of 11th of May - Anaerobic Digestion
    Alastair and Magnus Sinclair, Ellon

    This single tank (double ring) 500kWe Biogest Anaerobic Digester is owned and operated by the Sinclair’s. The AD plant is currently fed on a mixture of slurry, rye grass silage and whole crop silage from the Sinclair’s farm and their neighbouring farm. Digestate from the plant is spread on nearby fields, helping them deal with NVZ issues. The open day will give you an opportunity to hear from Alastair and Magnus Sinclair in terms of the technology choice and the challenges they have encountered in securing grid connection and getting the plant built and operational. Specific focus will also be given to optimal grass growing and harvesting techniques employed by the Sinclair’s. Please note that this event was previously scheduled for the 19th of February but was cancelled.

    Week of the 18th of May - Wind
    Andrew Stewart, Marshill Farm, Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire

    Andrew Stewart became aware of the wind turbine development opportunity when he was approached by a wind developer but was not keen to lease the land to a developer due to the poor rates being offered. He decided to undertake the project himself and has secured planning and grid connection and is currently installing three wind turbines (one 2.3MW Enercon E-82 and two 800kW Enercon E-48) on the farm. Andrew has developed the project through the CARES project as at the pre-planning stage was considered too high risk for commercial loans.  This will be our second visit to Marshill Farm following an initial visit in February 2014.  This second visit will allow us to hear from Andrew and the challenges he has overcome in the 15 months from our last visit and give you the opportunity to meet the development team and see the project under construction.
  • If farmers would like to book a space at any event call Rebecca on 0131 344 0888 or email:
  • If any media would like to attend either of these events, please contact


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 31/15

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