The complex sees an annual throughput of 25,000 cattle and 250,000 sheep, hosts antique and general sales, provides conferencing facilities and also plays home to the Highland Livestock Heritage Society. The mart has an enviable history of service and innovation, serving the rural sector by marketing livestock, land and agricultural machinery for a vast area of the Highlands and Islands.
In August 2012, Dingwall & Highland Mart saw the commissioning of a 36 metre Endurance E-3120 wind turbine on a hill behind the complex, producing an annual output of 55kw, more than meeting the energy requirements of the entire complex.
Kenny McKenzie, Managing Director of Dingwall and Highland Mart, explained why he instigated the installation of a wind turbine and the benefits it has delivered:
"The mart complex here in Dingwall is a big user of electricity. I was determined to stem the costs associated with this - we had electricity bills of over £20,000 per annum - and so I started to think of ways in which we could cut these cost over the longer term."
"Having spoken to a number of contacts who had installed wind turbines about the various pros and cons, wind seemed like the most obvious option to me from the start. It soon became obvious that we had the ideal site for wind energy and so the decision was made."
"Our Board of Directors here at the mart are pretty forward thinking and so my proposal was accepted without much hesitation. The financial benefits are easy to explain and understand but they also recognised that the mart had a responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint and so we've managed to kill two birds with one stone."
"Being a relatively new building, we already had some green measures in place - we collect all the rain water that falls onto the complex and reuse it for washing inside the livestock mart, and wind energy was the next logical step."
"Having been commissioned in August, our turbine is already providing our power, allowing us to export what we don't use back to the grid and is helping us to protect ourselves against future increases in power prices. As far as I'm aware, Dingwall is the first livestock mart in Scotland to have installed a wind turbine and we're delighted. We like to be first up here!"
Looking back, Kenny believes that the project was more than worth it, but says it's important to work with the right people and not to expect the project to complete without a little effort:
"I am very glad we went ahead with this project but would advise people to ensure that they are ready for the undertaking. There are quite a few unknowns in a project like this. Thankfully, we received no objections from the local community, but nevertheless, planning was quite a complex process because a few of the planners themselves had concerns at first. In addition, for someone like me, who isn't technically minded, there can be a lot of jargon that you have to understand and different regulatory bodies that you have to work with."
"Now that the turbine is up, it gets a great many compliments. Many people like its grace whilst others don't even notice it's there and whilst they've not said as much, I think some of our farming customers like the fact that the mart is reducing its carbon footprint. In fact, I think we may have inspired a few farmers to think about wind energy themselves."
"I chose to work with Scaled Energy for a number of reasons. First off, their quote was the cheapest but I also always like to do business with local or Scottish companies and they fitted the bill. In addition, they could provide the expertise that could help me to navigate the complexities of the planning and installation process. Scaled Energy are also quite a small company which was particularly appealing because it meant that I could speak to the man at the top whenever I needed advice or information. That has real value to me."
"Scaled Energy were incredibly easy to deal with, and in fact I really enjoyed working with them. Everything they did was precise, had attention to detail and was perfectly timed. We never had to wait for anything. Scaled Energy are a first class company and I would highly recommend them to anyone who wants to make their wind turbine installation as easy, efficient and cost effective as possible."
"In wider terms, to anyone thinking of wind energy, my advice would be to consider the work involved carefully, get the right experts behind you and then go for it, because the benefits pay off."
For more information on Dingwall & Highland Marts, visit www.dingwallmart.co.uk
Scaled Energy carried out a full installation service including
the supply and installation of the Endurance E3120 turbine & 36m tower, construction of the
foundation, access track, hard standing for the cranes, the electrical
installation and communication systems for the turbine.
This challenging site required
us to install our longest cable run to date (at over 700m) to allow
the electricity generated by the turbine to be utilised in the Mart.
The planning process took over a year from start to finish,
which is slightly longer than average, however, the installation was
straight forward. Civil works were completed within 4 weeks, with the
installation and commissioning completed in 4 days.
This turbine was commissioned on the 17th August 2012. Scaled
Energy are grateful and proud to have been selected to supply and
install this outstanding Endurance wind turbine for Dingwall Mart.