Development Case Studies

RD  has provided renewable energy development consultancy and installation experience across a range of scales of renewable technologies for over 10 years. For an overview of each technology, see our Technology page.

Click on the links below for information on a selection of  projects we have completed for a range of client types.


Standard Life – Renewable Energy Options for Large Manufacturing Unit

Renewable Energy opportunities

RDES was commissioned by Standard Life investments to carry out a Renewable Energy options analysis for their large distribution/manufacturing facility situated in the @ccess 26 development in Derbyshire.

A review of prospective tenants’ energy usage was carried out followed by a natural resource assessment for wind, solar, biomass and anaerobic digestion. This facilitated the identification of suitable renewable technologies to meet the electricity and heat demands of the site while generating income for the client.

For the chosen technologies, RDES completed a high level system design and financial appraisal including annual energy and income generation and payback periods for various sized systems. This provided the client with a comprehensive outline of the most appropriate technologies for the site and an insight into the feasibility of investing in renewable energy generation.

A.G. Barr factory- Development of 2 MW Wind Turbine

Large wind turbine

A.G. Barr commissioned RDES to carry out a feasibility study to identify the most suitable renewable technology for an industrial unit with a high electrical load outside Cumbernauld. A 2MW wind turbine has been chosen and RDES is currently undertaking planning and procurement procedures. Consent has been granted and a 60m mast has been installed for on-going wind monitoring.

The system is expected to generate 6,000 MWh per year which would meet 60% of on-site demand. 2,800 tonnes of CO2 are expected to be offset each year and up to £600,000 will be saved in annual operating costs.

Robertson Construction- Solar PV for SEPA Headquarters

Solar designers  scotland

Robertson Construction commissioned RDES to design, supply and install an 8.6kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof the new headquarters for Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in Aberdeen. The installation acts as a showcase for green technologies by generating approximately 6,400 kWh and offsetting 3.5 tonnes of carbon per annum.


RMJM- Glasgow Commonwealth Village Renewable Energy Options

maximise renewable income

RDES was commissioned by RMJM Architects to assess the options for on-site generation from renewable technologies for low or zero-carbon accommodation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The proposed Athletes village consists of 700 dwelling units which are to be sold or let for residential use.

RDES considered various technologies, including Air and Ground Source Heat Pumps, solar PV, solar thermal, wind power and biomass on an individual and site-wide basis, taking into account commercial, environmental and planning constraints. The report provided the client with a detailed overview of the renewable energy options available for the proposed development and RMJM are currently taking next steps based on our recommendations.

Dixon Deboise- Renewable Energy Options for Residential Development in Milton Keynes

Renewable uk

RDES were commissioned by Dixon Deboise to carry out a feasibility study on a new residential development consisting of 290 apartments in Milton Keynes. RDES issued a report and recommendations on how to achieve the Merton Rule’s 20% on-site generation requirement, considering a range of renewable and low-carbon technologies, taking into account commercial, environmental, aesthetic and design considerations. Wind, solar PV, solar thermal, heat pump, biomass and CHP were investigated. It was concluded that solar PV & solar thermal were the best solution based on planning, environmental and financial constraints. The scheme met the local authority guidelines and is now fully-built and operational, utilising solar PV & solar thermal technologies.

Public Sector

NHS Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary1.5 MW Biomass Boiler

renewable energy companiestypes of renewable energy

NHS Dumfries and Galloway contracted RDES to provide a full service package to reduce carbon emissions associated with the operation of the D&G hospital in Dumfries. A centralised biomass heating system was identified as the most appropriate technology to meet the hospital’s high heat demand. RDES completed the design and installation of a 1.5MW biomass boiler and a 200 m3 underground storage facility.

The system is fully operational, generating 11,000MWh per year meeting 65% of the annual heat demand and off-setting 2,400 tonnes of CO2.

Girvan Community Hospital, Ayrshire - 100 kW Northwind Turbine

large solar installationsrenewable energy scotland

In 2007 NHS Ayrshire and Arran commissioned RDES to provide initial feasibility work into embedded wind energy opportunities at a proposed community hospital site in South Ayrshire. The most viable option was identified as being a single 100 kW wind turbine.

RDES took the project through planning works and once consent was granted, successfully submitted grant funding and proceeded with a turn key installation. The development was granted planning permission in late 2007 and was commissioned in January 2010.

The system generates approximately 216MWh per annum, providing up to 25% of on site electricity requirements. It is estimated that the installation offsets 122 tonnes of carbon per annum and has a payback period of 6.3 years.

Sanctuary Housing Association - Energy Efficiency and Management

Renewable energy home

RDES recently completed a commission for Sanctuary Housing Association, looking at ways to help them address fuel poverty issues by reducing their energy costs and carbon emissions with renewable and low carbon technologies, taking into account the new Feed-in Tariff and the upcoming Renewable Heat Incentive. The results showed that for a sample 3-bed semi-detached house with electric heating and assumed energy spend of circa £900/yr, energy costs could be converted to a net income of circa £1,000/yr and a reduction in carbon emissions by 60% with certain technologies. With pay-back periods of 8 to 10 years, Sanctuary Housing Association is now taking this project to the board for approval to progress the scheme.

Community Organisations

Community Group ‘Here we are’ Argyll - 850 kW Biomass Heating System

green energy uk

RDES was awarded a finalist position for Best Community Initiative by the Scottish Green Energy Awards 2008 for its work with Here We Are, a registered Scottish Charity based in the Cairndow Parish in Argyll. In 2005, RDES carried out a HICEC funded renewable energy study across the area for the benefit of the charity and the local community. The results of the preliminary assessment were presented to Here We Are and other project stakeholders and the community decided to take forward a detailed feasibility study of an 850 kW biomass heating scheme integrated into a local business. RDES took the project through planning and set up an ESCo contract between the community, the company and the energy supply company, making the first community based ESCo in Scotland.

The biomass plant was commissioned in March 2008 and is now operating with significant cost savings.

Water of Leith Edinburgh - Feasibility and Detailed Design for 5 Hydro Sites

micro hydro installers

Community Energy Scotland commissioned RDES on behalf of 4 community groups (Kirknewton Community Development Trust, Balerno Village Trust, Dean Village Association and Greener Leith) and Edinburgh City Council to carry out a detailed feasibility study for 5 hydro sites along the Water of Leith.

The study included: a detailed business case including capital, running and life cycle costs, an environmental overview outlining the potential impact on the natural environment along with planning and consent issues with relevant stakeholders and a detailed design for each site.

The clients are currently sourcing funding to take the project through planning and installation.

Fife Community Wind - Development of 3 Medium-Large Wind Sites

green energy generation scotland

RDES was commissioned by Ore Valley Housing Association to evaluate the potential for community-scale wind development within Fife. This included a full examination of all relevant considerations (inc. resource, grid, environmental and available space) to highlight 10 potential areas for development. The suitable scale of development at each site was then assessed to highlight the cost to develop and build the site and the expected returns. This allowed a short list of the most suitable sites to be put to the Big Lottery Fund, ‘growing community assets’ programme.

This funding was approved in July 2008 and RDES were commissioned to undertake the next stage of work for the project which included the completion of environmental scoping studies for multiple sites. After the completion of this scoping work RDES have been commissioned to take 3 projects through to a full planning decision. This work includes the completion of wind monitoring programmes, ongoing technical and stakeholder work and completion of all necessary environmental works.

Dingwall and Seaforth Highland Council - Energy Management Study

Renewable energy grantsEnergy management scotland

RDES completed comprehensive energy efficiency surveys for Dingwall and Seaforth Highland Council ward at a number of different sites including Dingwall town hall, Muir of Ord bowling club and Muir of Ord community pavilion. The motivation for the study was to reduce energy consumption at each location thereby reducing carbon emissions and energy expenditure.

RDES was commissioned to assess the building insulation, lighting and heating arrangements and make recommendations towards improving energy efficiency.

An investigation into the suitability of wind, solar, biomass and heat pumps was also carried out through resource and site assessments at each location. RDES provided recommendations for the most suitable technologies for each site.


Tomatin Hydro

Hydro installer scotland

RDES was commissioned by a landowner in the North of Scotland to reduce carbon emissions and energy fuel bills by meeting the high electricity load for a domestic house and the heating of greenhouses using renewable technologies.

A 10 kW grid connected run of the river hydro scheme was proposed and RDES completed the planning, detailed design and full installation. The system generates 40,000kWh per year, offsetting 20 tonnes of CO2 and saving the client £4,000 in annual operating costs. The client secured capital grant funding shortening the payback on the system to 5-6 years.

Wheedlemont Farm - Development of Two Large Scale Wind Turbines

Best renewable consultants scotland

Wheedlemont Farm is part of a family farming partnership looking to develop wind energy at their site to diversify their business. RDES initially carried out the detailed feasibility and wind monitoring work for 2 x 850 kW wind turbine development. After a successful period of monitoring RDES were then commissioned to undertake the next stage of work to start grid discussions and take the project through the planning stages.

The proposed development is located within a designated Area of Landscape Significance and due to the scale of the turbines a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was necessary. RDES carried out the necessary environmental works and public consultation. This included a highly detailed landscape and visual assessment of the individual and cumulative impacts of the development. There are currently no outstanding objections from key stakeholders and the development is awaiting a planning decision with the Local Planning Authority.

Renewable Developers

Tullymurdoch Farm - Development of a 9.9 kW Farm

Wind power in the uk

Renewable Developments Scotland ltd. commissioned RDES to complete a preliminary feasibility study for a 9.9kW wind farm at Tullymurdoch farm, a 475 hectare sites 30km north of Perth. The study considered the environmental constraints, grid infrastructure, access conditions, the wind resource and space available to develop a wind farm. Based on a map survey and consultation with the local council, the main constraints were identified and a potential site layout was proposed. RDES contacted relevant stakeholders such as the aviation authority, Scottish Natural Heritage and Ofcom and provided recommended next steps for the client in terms of further detailed work, planning and environmental impact assessment.

Pates Hill Farm - Development of Seven 2 MW Wind Turbines

renewable energy uk

The developer New Lives New Landscapes commissioned RDES to complete a feasibility study for seven 2MW wind turbines at Pates Hill 6km south of West Calder, West Lothian. Noise and wind monitoring was carried out on-site along with Measure, correlate, predict (MCP) analysis to provide an overview of long term wind speed data for the site.

Following initial feasibility, RDES carried out optimisation work to ensure maximum generation is achieved at the site.