ONE of Scotland’s most experienced renewable energy experts has joined land and property specialist Bell Ingram.
Nigel Benson is the latest addition to the company’s thriving microgeneration department, which has built impressive credentials since it was established more than three years ago by Joe Fergusson.
Nigel will work closely with Joe to further develop the service for land and property owners across Scotland, helping them produce sustainable power which can be sold back to the National Grid.
He will offer uniquely broad expertise – amassed during hundreds of audits for the Energy Saving Trust – to advise Bell Ingram’s clients how their sites could yield income from all types of schemes, such as wind, hydro, biomass and solar.
Bell Ingram’s team has already advised 140 small-scale renewable projects for farmers, small estates and rural businesses including pubs and hotels and Nigel’s appointment reflects the gathering pace of growth in the sector.
Graham Lumby, managing director of Bell Ingram, said Nigel’s appointment at the 112-year-old firm would usher in opportunities and bring new skills to the company, renowned for managing 500,000 hectares of land across the UK.
Agency Expertise in Renewables
He added: “Renewable and sustainable energy is one of the biggest issues facing everyone right now, while incentive schemes are catching the attention of land and property owners at a startling pace. Yet it is an emerging sector where technology and the public perception can change extremely quickly.
“When factors like those come together it can create an unhelpful Gold Rush Fever. That is why it is so important Bell Ingram provides the most independent and trusted advice so that our clients can make their decisions confidently and profitably.
“Nigel and Joe give us a voice of authority and clarity in a sector which otherwise can seem confusing and even overwhelmed with conflicting advice.”
While Nigel’s main role will be advising clients, he will also work with the 130 Bell Ingram staff across the company’s 11 UK offices, including chartered surveyors, estate and forestry managers, architects and estate agents.
He said: “The opportunity to work with a company like Bell Ingram is as good as it gets in the renewable energy sector, because the company is already so well trusted in all the areas where microgeneration is likely to impact.
“Clients already know they will get measured, unbiased and clear advice on all aspects of rural land and property matters. Right now those same people are being bombarded with messages about renewables and I want them to know we can now help make sense of that.
“Not only can we give totally independent advice on the best scheme for any site, my colleagues can handle everything else from the planning process to the legal aspects.
“Our estate agency team could help clients sell a development, or our forestry experts could help manage resources effectively for a biomass burner. Bell Ingram is now positioned to handle every aspect of the process and that will bring clients peace of mind.”
After studying in Glasgow, Nigel worked in mechanical engineering specialising in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems with an emphasis on management and control of energy. Since 2000 he has worked in energy efficiency, most recently as a consultant carrying out hundreds of audits on behalf of the Energy Saving Trust.
Joe Fergusson said: “We’ve worked extremely hard to create and build our service and a reputation for independent advice. Landing someone of Nigel’s calibre at this crucial time of growth in the sector is a very welcome coup.”
Nigel and Joe expects significant growth in renewable, with the Government’s targets to have 15% of the UK’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. In Scotland the target is 80%.
Interest in microgeneration has been fuelled by the Government’s Feed in Tariffs, which offer guaranteed payments for land and property owners to sell energy from renewable sources back to the National Grid.
Elsewhere, the UK Government is set to offer enticements with the launch of its Renewable Heat Incentives in June, to assist with renewable heating schemes.
Headquartered in Perth, Bell Ingram is a recognised leader in UK land management and acts for public, private and corporate landowners. Its multi-disciplined team of chartered surveyors, architects, and forestry managers act for clients including Shell, BP, Scottish Water, E.On and many local authorities.