A world renowned farming and environmental research centre is turning to solar power to help slash its energy costs.
The Invergowrie-based James Hutton Institute has secured planning permission to install a series of rooftop solar panels.
Bosses hope that the new set-up, which will be spread across three or four roof faces, will generate 126.5KW of power.
In a letter to council planners, a spokesman said: “The offices, laboratories and greenhouses at Invergowrie have a significant electricity demand on a year round basis.
“It is intended that the solar array would be integrated into the existing on-site supply, thereby reducing the requirement for electricity from the national grid.”
He added that the system would have a grid connection which had already been agreed with Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution.
Nearby Dundee Airport, which was asked to assess the proposal, has given the scheme its backing.
A spokesman for Perth and Kinross Council’s planning department said: “The sole issue for this proposal is whether or not the insertion of the PV panels will have an adverse impact on the visual amenity of the area.
He ruled that the plan would not have a negative effect on its surroundings. “The site is fairly isolated from the rest of the village of Invergowrie,” he said.
“The existing site is clearly an extensive research / commercial complex and the addition of fairly small arrays of RV panels on existing buildings will have minimal impact on the general appearance of the site.”
Last year, institute bosses announced 70 jobs were to go at Invergowrie and another site in Aberdeen as part of a voluntary redundancy drive aimed at reducing costs.
Earlier this month, the institute announced a five-year extension to its blackcurrant breeding contract with drinks firm Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS).
The deal builds on a 25-year relationship between the firm and Scottish fruit growers.