Skip to content Skip to navigation

MDT Fellowship: Renewable Energy

Connectivity impact: 

The Renewable Energy Fellowship enabled an Agri-Renewables Strategy to be developed for the James Hutton Institute. This has increased corporate knowledge of the technical options and processes associated with developing, installing and operating renewable energy systems on the Institute estate,  and has increased connectivity between various Institute teams, notably Estates, Capital Projects, Finance, Science and the Executive.

The Fellowship has been key to several developments on the Institute’s research farms including the successful renegotiation of an Option and Lease Agreement for a 7 turbine development at Hartwood Farm and the planning and installation of a 50kW solar PV array at Glensaugh Farm and a 110kW solar PV array at Mylnefield Farm. Combined, the solar arrays have led to a significant reduction in costs of energy and in carbon emissions, abating 65 and 20 tonnes of CO2 emissions respectively. These two projects are on track to pay for their costs within 5 years of commissioning, contributing a surplus to the Institute for 20 to 25 years thereafter. Other project activities levered an additional £100k in funding for exploratory work on site suitability for renewable energy production on the Institute estate, including £50k for Fortissat Community Geothermal Energy at Hartwood Farm, and two Start-up grants (£15k each) on community renewables from the Scottish Government Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) at Hartwood and Balruddery Farms.

The Fellowship included a four-month secondment to the Scottish Government where the Fellow contributed content for the Scottish Government consultation on a Scottish Energy Strategy (January 2017), and set up a dedicated UK-wide Pumped Hydro Storage Working Group on behalf of the relevant Scottish Government Ministers.  The Fellow also led a report Scottish Government through ClimateXChange on “The comparative costs of community and commercial renewable energy projects in Scotland” (Harnmeijer et al., 2015), cited in submissions to other public consultations (e.g. BEIS Call for Evidence on small-scale low carbon energy generation; by UKERC; Feed-in-Tariff Review, by the Energy Savings Trust).

Deb Roberts (Fellow: Jelte Harnmeijer)