Renewables at Dartington
At Dartington, a significant proportion of our energy is produced via renewables, in the form of two 950kw biomass boilers and a 500kh(p) solar-PV array.
It’s all part of Dartington’s commitment to clean energy, and our investment in these technologies has reduced our carbon emissions by 725 tonnes and fuel bills by £160,000 each year.
The Dartington estate was previously home to a large number of oil-fired boilers costing upwards of £350,000 a year to run – with half of this sum required to heat the Grade I listed medieval Courtyard containing the oldest and largest buildings on the estate. The new biomass boilers cut our carbon emissions by 400 tonnes, and help save us £80,000 a year. All our woodchip is sourced sustainably from near Frome, Somerset using offcut wood.
Dartington’s solar-PV array was installed by Molesolar Plus. It is expected that 77% of the electricity generated will meet 30% of the estate’s needs through its existing high voltage distribution network.
The remaining 23% of electricity will be contributed to the national grid. The array, which is positioned in a field on the north of Upper Drive just beyond a row of estate homes, is set to cut Dartington’s carbon emissions by 325 tonnes and save the Trust £80,000 a year.
Dartington aims to graze sheep in the field so panels have been raised at the lower end to allow sheep to pass under them. The AC/DC inverters will be protected by fencing to prevent the sheep gaining access and damaging the equipment.