Energyzing Insch

Project lead: Insch Renewable Energy Consortium (IREC)

Award amount: £29,999

Area: Aberdeenshire

View the project report 



To demonstrate that locally produced, low carbon electricity and district heating can be combined with fibre optic connection for the benefit of the community, who will control the chain from production through to the end user. Fuel poverty will be alleviated, digital connectivity enhanced and financial benefit retained.  


Project summary

Insch, 30 miles north west of Aberdeen is a village with a population of just under 3000.   There is no mains gas and significant disparity in income among residents which results in fuel

The community group IREC has ownership of wind turbine assets but grid constraints are hindering development.
The concept of an energy hub for Insch has been explored for many years but recent developments in renewable technology and grid issues has made the implementation of such a system highly desirable.

This proposal would allow the connection of the turbines to the Insch Energy Hub via underground 11kv cable and fibre optic ducting. The hub will incorporate megawatt scale battery storage, facilitating grid stability.

Co-located at the hub would be a 180kW(e)/270kW(t) pellet gasification unit and a 1MW(t) biomass boiler. Electricity cables, heat pipes and fibre optic ducts will emanate from the hub. Installation of EV charge points is proposed.  The development of load monitoring and demand management via smart metering is proposed for the integrated network.        

IREC will own the network and create income by selling heat, power and fibre
optic connection to end users.  End user fuel cost reductions of 20 to 30% will be possible.  

Insch1  IREClogo