Energy & Renewables

The Renewable Energy sector is a growth area for Leys Estate and a high priority for the Scottish Government. As such Leys Estate is aligning itself with Government policy and in particular the Scottish Energy Strategy. The key aim of this strategy is to;

“strengthen the development of local energy, protect and empower customers, and support Scotland’s climate change ambitions while tackling poor energy provision.”

On the Estate we currently have in place the following renewable energy sources;

  • A major biomass district heating plant and distribution network serving over 200 houses, commercial units, business centres and the multi-million pound Banchory Sports Village
  • Several small residential and commercial biomass heating schemes
  • Photovoltaic cells
  • Two wind turbines

Leys Estate Group will continue to promote energy efficiency and smart use of energy within both its residential and commercial managed properties and producing renewable energy for heating and electricity provision.

Biomass Energy Centre on Leys Estate Deeside

The Hill of Banchory Energy Supply Company (HoBESCo) is the limited company owned and operated by the North Banchory Company to deliver the renewable energy output of the Leys Estate Group.

HoBESCo operates primarily biomass (wood chip/pellet) heating schemes ranging from single property schemes, to two and three property schemes, a ten property scheme and a restaurant and community arts and sports hub at Woodend at Crathes. It also operates a large multi-connection District Heating Network at Hill of Banchory that currently supplies over 200 houses, seven commercial premises and Banchory Sports Village, including heating the indoor swimming pool. The network will be expanded to support a further 200 homes, additional commercial opportunities and a care home over the coming years.

Leys Estate Group also has several small renewable electricity generation schemes including photovoltaic cells and two small wind turbines.

We continually review how the Estate can provide further solar, wind, hydro, bio and geo-thermal energy options and schemes.


Energy Consumption and Efficiency Objectives

  • Develop Energy Efficiency Strategy for the Leys Estate Group
  • React to long term trends for energy cost inflation, affordability and climate change impacts
  • Align with energy efficiency legislation and identify the correct approach to improve energy efficiency and EPC ratings in the property portfolio, whilst recognising limitations of listed building regulations, vernacular construction and affordable rental income
  • Undertake Energy Audits using thermal imaging to identify key EPC priorities for improving energy efficiency throughout the property portfolio
  • Develop and implement energy efficiency action plan with measurable targets
  • Encourage Group procurement of energy where possible
Biomass energy centre in Banchory

Energy Production Objectives


  • Align where possible with Government Biomass Energy Policy
  • Consider other sustainable and economic fuel sources
  • Continue to develop the delivery of biomass heating systems where appropriate and at the appropriate scale (large and small)
  • Consider Combined Heat and Power (CHP) options  

Wind Energy

  • Consider other locations and types of wind energy investment
  • Monitor Government Wind Energy Policy and positively engage if and when appropriate

Hydro Energy

  • Monitor Government Hydro Energy Policy and positively engage if and when appropriate

Solar Energy

  • Consider solar farm options
  • Consider solar hot water options where appropriate
  • Monitor Government Solar Energy Policy and positively engage if and when appropriate


  • Monitor Government Bio-energy Policy and positively engage if and when appropriate
  • Consider an anaerobic digestion scheme for estate farmers and assist with co-operative working if applicable

Geo-thermal Energy

  • Monitor Government Geo-thermal Energy Policy and positively engage if and when appropriate
  • Update and review the Hill of Banchory Geo-thermal Energy Project – Feasibility  Study (February 2016) and identify any opportunities

Battery Electricity Storage

  • Monitor Government Electricity Storage Policy and positively engage if and when appropriate
  • Consider electricity storage options and battery bank development
The Leys Estate horn

Other Energy Objectives

Carbon Auditing and Carbon Capture  

  • Monitor Government Carbon Emissions and Capture Policy and positively engage if and when appropriate
  • Undertake a Group Carbon Audit and review what measures can be undertaken to reduce the Group’s Carbon footprint
  • Consider options for direct carbon capture and opportunities in carbon capture for other businesses to offset their carbon footprint