Castlewellan Castle in Northern Ireland, a 19th century building within Castlewellan Forest Park, is managed by Christian charity, Centre Ministries, and used mainly as a residential conference centre.

Built in 1856, the castle has never had a true central heating system and currently uses what manager Andrew Forson calls an ‘expensive and inefficient electric storage heaters’.

To become more energy efficient, and to reduce power costs, a 200kW boiler will heat the entire castle and provide hot water to more than 25 bedrooms and the kitchen.

The state-of-the-art wood chip boiler, which is made in Austria, is according to the charity one of the first of its kind in Ireland.

Mr Forson, who lives on site with his family, he said: “We are really looking forward to getting this system up and running, it is important to us that we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and support local farmers.

“We will heat the castle to a level of comfort that has not been possible before, the use of wood chip as a fuel source results in a CO2 neutral process, as the emissions equate to the CO2 absorbed by the timber when it is growing, this will reduce emissions by 150 tonnes per year.”

The new boiler and heating network is due to be installed early in 2011.

Luke Walsh

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