I spent yesterday on a site visit to Lyme Park with Fit for the Future Network members the Devonshire Group and Pierrepoint Estates. Bolton Abbey and Chatsworth House are both part of the Devonshire Group and are looking into installing 350kW and 400kW biomass boilers on both estates, so got in touch with me to see if I could set up a site visit.
Knowing Adam’s experience with managing both pellet and wood-chip boilers at Pierrepoint Estates, and their desire to install yet more (the estate includes large swathes of Sherwood Forest so biomass is a no-brainer for them), I thought it was a great opportunity for him to come along too, both to share his experiences of installing biomass with the Devonshire lot, but also to learn from our experiences at Lyme Park.
As the Lyme Park biomass is pellet boiler, quite a lot of the conversation centred around the pro’s and con’s of wood chip and pellet – for instance the satisfaction of a closed loop economy (assuming you can produce your chip on site) in relation to storage issues and lower calorific value. As well as that, access points, ongoing maintenance costs, RHI and small-print in the contracts were things discussed.
What I found interesting though was that it took just one minor comment from Phil Stokes (the Building Surveyor who manages the biomass at Lyme Park) about warranties for the value of a site-visit to really be illustrated. The ‘lessons learnt’ comment that was just mentioned in passing from someone who has been through the process (which everyone eagerly scribbled down) will probably save Bolton Abbey and Chatsworth House £1000’s when they come to install their boilers! Just goes to show, getting people in a room together and simply talking really works.
Many thanks to Phil for taking the time to show us round.