Skip to navigation Skip to content

HydroGlen: transforming Glensaugh farm into a renewable powerhouse

Sheep at Glensaugh farm (c) James Hutton Institute
“We aim to demonstrate that communities can achieve energy self-sufficiency from a triple energy vector perspective – electricity, heating and transport fuel - and that additional associated-decarbonisation activities are possible and feasible”

The James Hutton Institute has been awarded funding from the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) to undertake a feasibility study for a green-hydrogen-powered farming community around its Glensaugh farm.

The study is the initial phase of the HydroGlen project, which seeks to transform the pioneering Aberdeenshire research facility into an energy-efficient, carbon-neutral hub powered entirely by hydrogen and capable of supplying energy to the wider local community.

The initiative hopes to provide a demonstrator for communities across Scotland about a new means of being energy-independent or even fuel producers themselves, offering an exciting, transformative model for contributing to Scotland’s net-zero ambitions.

Senior scientist Professor Alison Hester, Baillie Gifford Entrepreneurial Research Fellow and leader of the Institute’s Climate-Positive Farming Initiative at Glensaugh, explains: “HydroGlen aims to accelerate decarbonisation and transition to net-zero through the uptake of community and locally-owned renewable energy, offering a viable alternative model to traditional utility-based models for both urban and rural communities and potentially significant new community income streams.

“These include selling hydrogen fuel; using hydrogen to produce anhydrous liquid ammonia for fertilizer; and potentially unlocking new capital investment models.

“We aim to demonstrate that communities can achieve energy self-sufficiency from a triple energy vector perspective – electricity, heating and transport fuel - and that additional associated-decarbonisation activities are possible and feasible.”

The HydroGlen feasibility study will be led by Hutton scientists and renewable energy consultants Water to Water, with findings expected in early 2021.

Glensaugh is managed as an upland livestock farm of just over 1000 ha, with sheep, cattle, red deer, improved and extensive pastures, moorland, and woodland. The James Hutton Institute’s research farms, including Glensaugh, have an important and exciting role to play in testing and demonstrating innovative ways of managing our land, and the Institute's Climate-Positive Farming Initiative builds on a long tradition at Glensaugh for wide-ranging research into many different elements of farming – environmental, economic and social.

Glensaugh is used as an open science platform for research, technological innovations, teaching and wider knowledge-exchange, and hosts academic, industry and community groups. Work at the farm on land management, rotational grazing, woodland management, agroforestry and demonstrating best agricultural practice regularly attracts visitors from across the UK and beyond.

For more information about the Climate-Positive Farming Initiative at Glensaugh, visit glensaugh.hutton.ac.uk.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/hydroglen-transforming-glensaugh-farm-renewable-powerhouse on 04/08/21 10:20:14 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.