National Trust launches green energy trading company

The National Trust has announced today that it will sell renewable energy generated from its estate through a new trading company, National Trust Renewable Energy Ltd.

Money raised from selling the electricity will be ploughed back into conservation projects, such as footpath repairs and habitat management.

The charity’s first large-scale renewables project – a new hydro-turbine which has been installed at the National Trust’s Hafod y Llan farm in Snowdonia, Wales – will be the first to sell electricity through the new trading company.

The hydro is expected to generate 1,900 MWhr per year, which, according to the Trust, is more electricity than is needed to light up all of its places in Wales, including eight mansions, three castles and around 45 holiday cottages.

Power generated from the project will be sold via the grid to green electricity supplier, Good Energy, which is also the Trust’s energy partner. The project is expected to generate enough electricity to power around 445 homes.

The National Trust’s rural enterprises director Patrick Begg said: “We’re lucky to be blessed with an abundance of natural resources that we look after for the benefit of the nation. Now with this new trading company we can harness some of the power generated by nature to help fund our conservation work.

“However, the real prize for us as the UK’s largest conservation charity is that we are helping to protect special places forever by creating sustainable energy solutions that work in complete harmony with our natural and historic heritage,” added Begg.

Currently, there are more than 250 small and medium-scale renewable energy schemes at National Trust places across England and Wales, including biomass, solar and hydro technology.

Last year, the National Trust, in conjunction with Good Energy, launched a plan to provide clean energy to 43 of its historic properties. Through the scheme, the charity hopes to generate half of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 and halve fossil fuel use in the same period.

Through its energy-related work, the Trust is aiming to save an estimated £4m from its energy bill each year.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie