Green Energy

Using his own farm as a starting point, in 2009 John took his various experiences, particularly those from visiting the remote islands of Scotland, and embarked on a number of projects to promote local energy production and saving. The result is a farm that harnesses the wind, rain and sun for energy production.

The systems at the farm include Wind, Hydro(on and off grid), Solar PV, Solar Gain, Solar Thermal, Biomass, Electric Car. Off-grid hydro equipment supplied by Powerspout Hydro Turbines.

Renewable technologies

Scotsman article

In the video below John shows the Energy Saving Trust round the various green electricity systems that he has installed on his farm. As well as Photo Voltaic (PV) solar panels on the cattle shed, John has also installed two Hydro systems and built a new, green house (for use by distillery staff).

Shortlisted for Best Low Carbon Business 2015

hba 2015

Open to companies across all industry sectors based in the Highlands, Islands and Moray, this award will be presented to the business which best demonstrates enhanced carbon management through improved resource efficiency resulting in increased profitability. Which means, John's businesses will be judged on the measures he's taken to reduce carbon emissions along with his overall approach to developing a sustainable carbon management strategy.

1,000,000kW of green electricity and counting!

Combining the various strands of John's energy production initiatives, his own Flying Farmer business, Dingwall Auction Marts Endurance Turbine (where he provided business assistance) and the Dingwall Wind Coop (John's a founding director) more than a million kilowatt's of green electricity has been produced for energy export.

Source Energy Exported
Flying Farmer +250,000kW
Dingwall Auction Marts Endurance Turbine 415,000kW
Dingwall Wind Coop 430,000kW

A million kilowatt's of green electricity is equivalent to 2,325580kg of CO2 compared to the national grid.

The secret is offsetting

There's no argument, offsetting is viable, and this is how John manages his day-to-day flying business. And of course, if passengers invest in green energy they can offset too.

Wind turbine at Dingwall Auction Mart

John and turbine

In 2012 John assisted Dingwall Auction Mart with an assessment of their ongoing electrical energy needs. This culminated in the installation of a Endurance wind turbine and solar PV array (with a publicly visible energy display online and on show in the Mart entrance) and in 2014, the successful installation of a biomass heating system. Combined with the wind and solar efforts for generating electricity and the provision of an electric car charge point this puts them very close to running a fully carbon neutral business.

Read more about Dingwall Mart's wind turbine.

Electric car

As part of his ongoing efforts to reduce his carbon footprint John makes use of an electric car – also known as an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV). In 2013 a dual, fast charger for Electric Vehicles (EVs) was installed in the Mart car park (which is free for public use) and a Pod Point charger added to the farm set up.

John with fellow Co-op Directors

A locally owned turbine

In 2013 John had a hand in creating the first wind turbine in Scotland to be fully owned by a co-op. Dingwall Wind Co-op will contribute to a community fund estimated at £8000 per year.

A green house

The final stage in John's farm energy project culminates in 2014 with a green house. It's a unique, energy efficient house, designed by award winning architects Dualchas of Skye, intended to be grown into as a family grows.

Based on the Highland blackhouse / longhouse of old, the building can be shut off in sections, with no structural changes, for energy saving purposes. Heating is provided primarily by log biomass for which 800 trees were planted, as well as solar thermal and solar gain for natural heating and over insulation.

It is the intention that the house will be used for the staff who run the planned distillery.