Penrhyn Castle – case study and PV from a different angle

Penrhyn Castle is the biggest mansion we have in Wales by quite a bit. From an environmental side it swallowed more insulation than all of the other mansions in Wales put together. The recent addition of a 50Kw PV system in the car park has helped quite a bit with its 200,000kwh electricity budget (the PV will produce around 45,000kw) From the start of the PV project the setting and aesthetic impact have been the main drivers. Energy production and value for money have been important but not at the cost of why we care for the special places we care for. Most of the mansions where we have installed the PV we have found out-of-the-way places. But not in Penrhyn. Even though the PV does not impact the castles setting because of its location and orientation, it is very much part of the visitor experience. Well you sort of cant mis half an acre of PV in the middle of a large car park.

Thanks to Kathy Laws and her plane. The Castle is in its parkland. The PV is in the car park screened by the trees (bottom right). All of the PV electricity is consumed by the castle


As well as the PV and like all of the other mansions in Wales Penrhyn is on its energy and environmental improvement track.

So far

  • 5000m2 of 270mm insulation
  • LED galore
  • Currently working on the Garden environmental standard
  • Managing and adjusting its Trend building management system did yield savings

to come?

It is one of the target properties for getting off oil. (but has quite a few challenges to address namely its a very big castle with multiple oil boilers) Like the PV its a mater of appropriateness and this takes a bit of head scratching. We have some more lighting work to do as well as new hand dryers, domestic heating systems in the flats. Big property, big work and big opportunities.

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4 Responses to Penrhyn Castle – case study and PV from a different angle

  1. Michael says:

    Interesting article! – Well described strtaegy for whats going on here – NT would benefit from explaining that at the site, one does wonder without this explaination why green land is being occupied by what appears a (clean) industrial power source. Some may view, this role models the occupation of the green land with electricity harvest, as opposed to food harvest (hungry world etc), Appreciate this isn’t necessarily true but it looks how it looks without explaination. Seperate issue but the visitor entrance experience has lowered from the old method, perhaps it could be more integrated with this solar field, more boards, perhaps it’s own centre!
    nb – went to Rhug Farm, nr Corwen on the A5 – reminded me of your posts – perhaps a board there too – if they’ll let you.
    Good work
    Have Fun

  2. A very welcome addition to the ‘visitor experience’! Some wonderful aerial photography to illustrate the set up.

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