Renewables initiative holds first on-farm demo day

Alan and Davie Smith of Cairnadailly
Alan and Davie Smith of Cairnadailly

Two North-east farms are the hosts of NFU Scotland’s newly established Renewable Development Initiative.

The Initiative’s inaugural Demonstration Farms Open Day on Monday, November 4, will give farmers from across Scotland the opportunity to visit renewable energy projects on two local farms.

Mintlaw farmer Hamish Watson will give a talk and demonstration of his log-fed biomass boilers

Mintlaw farmer Hamish Watson will give a talk and demonstration of his log-fed biomass boilers

The technology on show at Balring Farm, near Mintlaw, courtesy of Hamish Watson, and Cairnadailly Farm, Ellon, courtesy of Davie Smith, includes two operational biomass boilers and a proposed wind turbine site.

In addition, there will be workshops on all aspects of renewables, including support and tariffs and an opportunity to meet with industry experts.

Speaking ahead of the event, host farmer and the North-east’s renewables convenor Davie Smith said: “The potential for farmers to invest and profit from renewables is tremendous.

“That makes this an exciting time, but for Scotland to achieve its full energy generating potential, it is essential that farmers and land managers share and learn from each other’s experiences.

“The initiative has been established with the aim of providing sound independent advice to farmers and land managers across Scotland on renewable energy and there is no better way to showcase the technology than by showing it in action on farms.

“For those who come along, this open day will also offer great networking opportunities with industry experts to help them optimise their projects, maximise financial returns to the business and identify future investment opportunities.

“It is essential that Scottish farmers grasp the opportunity that renewables present, be it large developments or smaller domestic projects, rather than leave it to corporate investors!

“The Renewables Initiative, and its network of demonstration farms round the country will make sure farmers remain at the core of the renewable sector’s success.”

Monday’s schedule beghins with a Biomass demonstration at 9.45am for 10 at Balring Farm near Mintlaw.

Farmer Hamish Watson will provide a talk on the subject followed by practical demonstrations on renewable energy – a 400kW log fired biomass boiler installation hosted by Paul Kitchen of Glenfarrow Boilers; 200kW Froling wood chip biomass boiler installation hosted by Colin Elrick from Turblown; My Experience and Lessons Learned hosted by Hamish Watson and Duncan Paterson from Balring Energy

Lunch follows at Maud Village Hall with David Lewington of UKFM available to discuss solar and biomass.

In the afternoon, attention turns to wind, kicked off by a talk by farmer David Smith and workshops with renewable energy experts at Maud Village Hall covering planning hurdles, taxation, legal issues, project risks, CARES and wind data modelling.

At 3pm guests will travel to Cairnadailly Farm, Ellon, AB41 8QJ for a tour before the day closes at 4pm.

Those wishing to attend are asked to email or call Rebecca Bell on 0131 344 0888 to book your place for lunch.