National Trust announces £30m for renewable energy at historic sites
The National Trust is to invest £30m in renewable energy for its historic sites, the charity announced today (6 July).
The chartiy's largest ever investment in renewable enery follows the completion of five renewable power projects at National Trust properties.
The five initial projects came as part of a £3.5m partnership with Good Energy launced in 2013.
The National Trust believes the £30m renewable energy programme could save the conservation charity up to £4m on its energy costs each year.
The charity aims to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels by cutting its energy usage by 20% and sourcing 50% of its energy from onsite renewable sources by 2020.
The funding is being invested in more than 40 new projects, with surplus electricity from the sites being sold to the grid to provide an additional source of income for the charity.
National Trust rural enterprises director Patrick Begg said: “We have a responsibility to look after the special places in our care, requiring us to make long-term decisions that will protect them for future generations.
“Many of the properties in our care are energy intensive and in remote areas without access to mains gas. Installing renewable technology in these places is a huge challenge. For instance we found that connecting hydros to the grid is more complicated than we expected. We have learnt a great deal and we will continue to do so.”
The Trust’s new energy projects include a 250kW hydro scheme at Hayeswater in Cumbria and two biomass boilers at Upton House in Warwickshire, to heat the mansion and save an estimated 55 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The conservation charity has already implemented energy saving initiatives at pilot sites including a biomass boiler at Ickworth in Suffolk, replacing a 5,000 litre oil tank.
The charity worked alongside energy firm Good Energy to develop its renewable energy programme.
Good Energy CEO Juliet Davenport said: “Together we have worked hard to inspire consumers to switch to cleaner, greener forms of electricity and help to build a more sustainable energy future for the UK.”
The Trust has implemented renewable energy initiatives at several of its properties in recent years. The charity installed a hydropower turbine at its historic Cragside Property in Northumberland last year, bringing hydroelectricity back the house which became the first in the world to generate its electricity using hydropower in 1878.
It also installed a new turbine at its Quarry Bank site in Cheshire which will generate 55% of the building’s energy requirements.