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Lying close to Brechin in North East Scotland, the Southesk Estate covers 7,000 acres of low lying land. This is a combination of arable land, forestry and permanent pasture, which has been under the stewardship of the Carnegie family since 1400.

The estate manager, Neil MaCleod, asked Ebtech Energy Systems to look at heating a new workshop, created for maintaining the estate’s large fleet of agricultural machinery. The already had estate a strong focus on renewable energy with an Ebtech installed, 1.1MW heat pump heating a large growing facility as well as solar panels and a biomass boiler at Kinnaird Castle, the principal residence of the estate.

With the site’s environmental credentials in mind, the option of installing a fossil fuel heating system was discounted early on, and the decision was made to install a ground source heat pump.

Initially Ebtech performed a detailed site survey and provided rough costs in order to determine the feasibility of the project. A thermal conductivity test of the ground around the workshop was then undertaken by Carbon Zero, Ebtech’s Geology and Hydrology partner. From the information provided Ebtech were able to specify the equipment and give a fixed cost the project.

Work on the installation began in 2019, with the plant room incorporating a 150kW Carrier heat pump which collects heat from a network of pipes laid beneath 7,000m2 of adjacent, arable land. Once the land is settled the estate will resume growing arable crops above the ground array.

Ebtech’s Managing Director, Matthew Blood, was pleased to note that “though heat pump technology has been established for over 50 years there are still a lot of misconceptions around heat collection and its effect on the land. However, if designed properly, a heat pump ground array has no long-term effect at all on the land above it, which can continue to be used just as it was before”.

Ebtech Energy Ltd. are specialists in the supply and installation of heating systems and mechanical and electrical services for the horticultural, agricultural and commercial industries. For more information please visit


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