At Stracathro, we have embraced renewable energy, and income from the various schemes now contribute significantly to the turnover of Stracathro Estates.
We are also conscious that the carbon footprint of intensive farming is considerable, and that we have an obligation to offset this in any way we can.
In summer 2013, we applied for permission to erect an Enercon E-48, with a capacity of 800kw. There were no objections and twenty-four letters of support. Planning was granted by Christmas and the turbine was erected in June 2104, and commissioned in August. The total cost was £1.16m, being £80,000 under budget. It produced 1850mWh in its first year, sufficient to offset 950 tons of CO2.
We have two schemes running and one in the pipeline. We had hoped to install a 100kW array on the grain store, but an outrageous charge of almost £1,600,000 meant we had to reduce it to 50kW. It cost £60,000 to install, and it produced 48 mWh in its first year, offsetting 25 tons.
The second active scheme is on residential property, where around 8 mWh are produced, saving around four tons.
We have planning permission for the installation of 120 acres of solar panels. It is unlikely that the promised connection will be delivered for at least four years, making a mockery of our Government's drive for renewables. If it were functioning, its capacity would be over thirty times that of the turbine, and be offsetting over 6,000 tons of CO2.
We have installed two biofuel boilers, fuelled by wood pellets. One supplies a single let house and the Estate Office and the other communally heats and supplies hot water to six let houses. Their combined usage is 180,000 kWh, giving a saving in CO2 over kerosene of 43 tons.