Scott Monument’s wind and solar project to get the go-ahead

Monday April 1st 2024

Scott Monument Gensouce

An artist's impression of the upgraded Scott Monument

Written by Midlothian View climate correspondent Avril Fish.

Gensource, a leader in sustainable energy solutions, has embarked on an ambitious initiative to integrate both solar and wind energy into Edinburgh’s historic Scott Monument.

The project, steered by Historic Environment Scotland and Scott Wind, aims to elevate the monument to net-zero emissions.

The venture will introduce a solar energy façade system, consisting of 287 solar panels, symbolising each ascent to the monument’s peak. Complementing this, a first-of-a-kind wind turbine will crown the structure, creating a hybrid renewable energy solution with the solar façade expected to generate approximately 143,000 Watts on its own.

Scott Monument Solar Gensouce

An artist's impression of the Scott Monument's solar panels.

“Taking on the challenge of blending wind and solar technologies with such a revered landmark is a privilege,” stated Robert Wilson, Commercial and Operations Director at Gensource. “The Scott Monument is poised to become a paragon of how heritage and forward-thinking sustainability can coalesce to point the way to a greener tomorrow.”

The project fuels a race against tight deadlines, aiming for completion by the end of July, aligning with the Edinburgh Festival. Gensource has announced that the conclusive designs are nearing finalisation, with construction set to begin promptly, prompting a complete cessation of access to Princes Street during the impending works.

The project has already presented unique challenges to overcome. As no connection to the electricity network is available until 2045, the renewables system will be connected directly into the tramlines. Upon completion, the monument will generate approximately 3,500 Megawatt-hours over 30 years, providing enough clean energy to propel a tram for up to 200 million kilometers, a substantial contribution to the city’s sustainable transport and energy goals.

The Scott Monument, an iconic feature of Edinburgh’s skyline and the second-largest monument to a writer in the world, will soon also embody the spirit of environmental innovation. This initiative is in line with George Meikle Kemp’s original vision and Scotland’s pursuit of sustainable development.

Edinburgh Council’s transport convenor Councillor Guinevere Welsh is fully behind the project. She said

“This project will be a beacon project for Edinburgh and Scotland and demonstrate our commitment to climate action. It would be great to have wind-powered trams on the streets of Edinburgh. It may even enable us to install a spiral lift inside this great monument powered by the rays of Edinburgh sunshine.”

Edinburgh Councillors are due to give the go-ahead for the project at a special meeting at 12 noon today (1st April 2024).

Gensource, situated in East Lothian, Scotland, is at the vanguard of sustainable energy consultancy, design, and construction services. The firm is dedicated to forging a future in which energy generation is both innovative and harmonious with our cultural heritage.

For more details about Gensource and the Scott Monument’s renewable energy project please see visit

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