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HIE is commissioning a renewable energy options appraisal for Cairngorm

Published: 05/12/2019

HIE is commissioning a renewable energy options appraisal for Cairngorm.

Elaine Hanton, HIE's Head of Energy Technologies and Regulation
Elaine Hanton

The work is due to be carried out in two stages. It will include examining opportunities to exploit renewable technologies to offset current demand.

The first stage would be a high-level review of the appropriateness of different forms of renewable energy generation and storage on the mountain.

The second stage will involve more detailed analysis of the particular technologies likely to be the best fit for the centre.

HIE has issued a tender notice to procure a contractor to carry out the appraisal work. Contractors will also be asked to consider examples of technology used elsewhere in a similar context and advise on potential funding options.

The appraisal forms part of a wider review of energy at Cairngorm by HIE and its operating subsidiary, Cairngorm Mountain (Scotland) Limited (CMSL).  This first stage of this, an energy efficiency audit, is currently underway.

Last week CMSL confirmed it was planning to source sustainably produced HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) to reduce reliance on diesel for machinery, including the generators that run the snow factory.

A move to renewable energy generation on the mountain could potentially reduce costs to CMSL, as well as reducing the estate’s overall carbon footprint.

It would also align with the Scottish Government Climate Change Plan to drive down emissions by using innovative solutions to protect and enhance the natural environment.

Elaine Hanton, HIE’s head of energy technologies and regulation, said:

“We are constantly looking at ways to cut emissions and reduce environmental impacts. We believe there are potential opportunities at Cairngorm to reduce dependence on fossil fuels through renewable energy sources.

“We are currently out to tender for a contractor to investigate the options for renewable energy technologies on site. Once this exercise is complete, we will be clearer on next steps.”

Meanwhile, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is carrying out a feasibility study into electricity mains supply needs in the area, which could potentially lead to an upgrade in Cairngorm’s mains supply.