Three more great projects!

Plas Newydd

Plas Newydd

Three more great renewable energy projects to report: one in England, one in Scotland and one in Wales.

The National Trust, working together with Good Energy, has just installed the largest marine energy heat pump in the UK, rated at 300kW. Plas Newydd is a large 18th Century mansion on the Anglesey shore of the Menai Straits. On some winter days it consumed as much as 1,500 litres of oil a day. Now all its heating needs are met by the heat pump, saving £40,000 per year on an investment of £600,000. This is the first major step of an ambitious plan by the National Trust to generate half of their energy requirements from renewables, and to reduce their overall energy needs by 20%, by 2020.

Dingwall Wind Coop, in Ross-shire, have just got their 250kW turbine up and spinning. This is the first 100% community owned turbine in Scotland. 179 members have raised the £856,000 through a community share offer organised by Sharenergy, and 90% of the members are from the Dingwall area. They expect to make a good return on investment, and still be able to put £8,000 per year into local good causes and projects.

Sharenergy currently have a share offer open to establish a second solar coop in Leominster, in Herefordshire, where I live. This is a 90kW array, probably the first on a new build school and one of the largest on a school roof in UK. As of today they’ve raised £31,500 of the £150,000 they need to do this project. As soon as I’ve written this blog I’ll be reaching for my cheque book! This is a great project where the intention is to get the pupils really involved in learning about energy use and solar energy in particular. Instead of the usual £250 minimum stake, for people buying shares on behalf of school children in Herefordshire they’ll have a special £100 minimum stake.

The climate talks in Bonn may have got bogged down in an endless quagmire of procedural nonsense but many organisations and communities are just getting on and doing great practical projects. More power to them!

Plas Newydd