Country estate Chatsworth House near Bakewell, Derbyshire, has commissioned the construction of a new biomass-fuelled advanced gasification CHP system.
It’s claimed the system will reduce its carbon emissions by a staggering 90 per cent. Work has already begun on the new system - which is being designed and constructed by the Lincolnshire-based low-carbon energy specialist, LowC Communities.
Utilising only the low-value timber felled as part of the estate’s normal annual harvesting operations, the new system, will convert the wood fuel into electricity via a commercially-proven advanced gasification system known as Arbor ElectroGen.
It’s claimed this produces a clean, combustible gas that is used to power a combined heat and power (CHP) system – generating around 97 per cent of Chatsworth’s annual electrical requirements.
Nearly all of the heat created by the engine’s cooling system and exhaust will be recovered and used in a new district heating network to supply the house, restaurant and garden glasshouses – providing some 72 per cent of the annual requirements for space heating and hot water.
Nicholas Wood, land agent at Chatsworth commented: “This project perfectly illustrates our on-going commitment to sustainability at Chatsworth.
“There is normally a proportion of timber from our harvesting operations that is of poor quality and limited use – this will now be utilised on site as biomass. All felled areas are replanted, thus ensuring that our woodlands continue to be sustainable.
“Annually, the new renewable energy centre will save around 1,350 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted – in comparison with grid-supplied energy produced by fossil fuels.
“To put this saving into context, it would equate to the annual emissions of around 700 family-sized cars.
“We considered many forms of renewable energy for the house – but the outstanding environmental and commercial credentials of the chosen technology far outweighed the alternatives.”
It is claimed that to achieve the same level of carbon savings with solar photovoltaic panels, the estate would have needed to install around 24,000 square metres of panels – which would cover the same area as around 3.5 football pitches.