Public consulted over green hydrogen powered farm

A PUBLIC consultation is being held over a £6 million project run by The James Hutton Institute to convert its research farm at Glensaugh, near Fettercairn, into a green hydrogen-powered demonstration farm.

The proposed HydroGlen project aims to show how farming and rural communities could switch from fossil fuels to being self-reliant on renewably-generated electricity and green hydrogen for all the energy needs of the farm and associated households.

Green hydrogen is emerging as a key component of Scotland’s decarbonisation plans and there is a need to demonstrate how farming communities can contribute to the energy transition.

HydroGlen aims to demonstrate the feasibility of enabling farming and other rural communities to become self-reliant, low-carbon energy producers and exporters, generating 100%+ of their energy requirements (electricity, heating, and transport) and utilising a combination of renewable electricity, on-site hydrogen production, compression and storage.

Renewably generated electricity (wind, wave, tidal, solar energy) is now the cheapest form of electricity production and has a dominant role to play in decarbonisation. However, these energy sources are intermittent and energy generation does not always coincide with demand. Energy storage is therefore critical to unlock the full potential of low carbon electricity.

Green hydrogen as a key component in energy production and storage systems offers an exciting solution and a transformative model for contributing to Scotland’s net-zero ambitions, as well as creating new, previously unrealised, potential revenue streams.

For rural communities in particular, this offers energy-independence and a promising alternative to an all-electric approach to decarbonisation.

Glensaugh is located in the Grampian foothills of north-east Scotland, as shown below. The farm covers an area of just over 1000 hectares, with livestock grazing (sheep, cattle, red deer), agroforestry and woodland being the principal land uses.

A consultation event about the proposal will be held today, September 4th, at the Dickson Memorial Hall, Station Road, Laurencekirk, allowing people living near Glensaugh and wider stakeholders to learn more about and comment on the vision and proposals.

The proposed plan includes installing a single 500-800 kW wind turbine, a 0.25 ha solar array at ground level and/or roof level and a green hydrogen production facility.

The open-door, drop-in event, will run from 2-7pm, and include information and displays about the project, as well as members of the HydroGlen team, who will be able to answer questions.

As well as HydroGlen, the initiative includes work on peatland restoration, adding herbs into grasslands, integrating trees and wildlife on the farm, natural flood management, managing farmland to encourage beneficial insects and much more.

Read the non-technical summary of the proposed project

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