ALAN WILSON has been appointed as Buccleuch’s new energy director, responsible for energy developments across the company’s estates in Scotland and England.

Buccleuch has recently received planning consent for the creation of a pumped storage hydro scheme of up to 400MW on the former Glenmuckloch open cast coal mine in Dumfries and Galloway.

It is hoped that the project will make a major contribution to energy provision and breathe life into the former opencast site, which has ceased commercial coaling and is now undergoing restoration works. Although major financial investment will be required in order for the scheme to become a reality, there is the potential of the creation of 250 jobs during a five-year construction programme and more than 15 long term local jobs when complete.

The Glenmuckloch site has already received planning permission for the erection of eight wind turbines, and Mr Wilson will also be responsible for the development of the 12 turbine Hopsrig Wind Farm on the Eskdale and Liddesdale Estate, should it receive planning consent in due course.

Similarly, the proposed North Lowther Energy Initiative, a joint venture with 2020 Renewables at Queensberry Estate – for which a planning application is due this spring – will be part of his portfolio.

The Energy Director role will also be responsible for identifying new energy opportunities, such as the 200kW anaerobic digestion plant that was opened on the Bowhill Estate last year. Generation of energy for local use is also important at Drumlanrig Castle, where Buccleuch operates a 200kW biomass boiler to provide heat for the house.

Prior to joining Buccleuch, Alan was projects director at Energos, a supplier of small-scale clean energy recovery from waste plants and technology, specialising in gasification projects in Norway, Germany and the UK. Before that, he enjoyed a long spell in various divisions of Scottish Power after starting his career at John Brown Engineering.

Alan said: “Energy is becoming an increasingly important sector to rural businesses and I’m delighted to join Buccleuch who have used their resources to develop many innovative projects. There are many developments currently being planned and I believe I can help Buccleuch to identify other new opportunities in the sector that will generate benefits for the company, energy creation and job creation.”

Buccleuch chief executive John Glen said: “We are pleased to welcome Alan to Buccleuch and his knowledge and experience will be of undoubted benefit to the company as we seek new opportunities within the energy sector. Buccleuch continually strives to use its resources to generate economic growth and Alan will help us to identify and develop energy projects that can meet this aim.”