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ExtremeE electrifies Dumfries and Galloway

Politicians present for historic event

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By Zac Hannay
Sport
ExtremeE electrifies Dumfries and Galloway
ELECTRIFYING . . . an electric off-road rally racing event took place in the region over the weekend

THE Hydro X Prix,  the first ever Scottish race in Extreme E’s global electric off-road rally series, has taken place in Dumfries and Galloway over the past weekend.

Teams including those owned by Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button raced around Glenmuckloch, a former open-cast mine which is to be turned into a Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) plant and wind farm.

Extreme E is a net-zero sport-for-purpose organisation which uses its voice to highlight climate damage as well as effective ways to mitigate that damage. With its focus on the promotion of electric vehicles and clean energy innovations, the old mine is the perfect natural amphitheatre to showcase the necessary industry transition to move from fossil fuels to clean energy futures.

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “We could not have found a more perfect racing site than the former Glenmuckloch coal mine. Here in Scotland, our race site paid homage to the much-needed transition of an old coal mine which is being given a new and exciting lease of life as a hydro-project which will provide a fully renewable energy source for the region for centuries to come.

“Extreme E continues to push the boundaries of sustainable motorsport. So, to come to Scotland and be aligned with its increasing focus on renewable energy is fantastic.”

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition Mairi McAllan was there to watch the racing on Saturday.

She said: “Eighteen months ago world leaders met in Glasgow for COP26, aiming to secure global net zero by the middle of this century.

“As an off-road rally series which focuses on the promotion of electric vehicles and clean energy innovations, the former mine was the perfect natural amphitheatre to showcase the necessary industry transition to move from fossil fuels to clean energy futures, and the central role Scotland wants to play in that just transition.”

Extreme E also partners with a legacy project at each of the venues it chooses for its races. In Scotland that project is supporting the restoration of the River Nith to ensure the preservation of Atlantic salmon numbers. Partnering with the Nith District Salmon Fishery Board, the aim is to re-meander rivers, introduce large woody structures to create diversity on the riverbed and spawning substrate for salmon, stabilise river banks with green-engineering, plant 200 hectares of riparian woodlands, and install 100 leaky dams to help slow the river flow and reduce erosion.

The UK Government’s Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack also attended the event on Saturday.

He said: “Scotland’s green energy potential is at the heart of the UK Government’s plans to deliver energy security, drive investment and grow the economy by developing clean domestic power sources. From the carbon capture sector where we are progressing at pace and investing up to £20 billion to help decarbonise our industries, to offshore wind, funding for low carbon hydrogen projects, and making the Contracts for Difference round an annual event, Scotland is a key part of the UK’s net zero plans and helping to boost economic growth through green jobs.

“I’m also pleased that Extreme E is helping the long-term transformation of the River Nith area that will help protect wild Atlantic salmon stocks.”

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