‘Whatever happened to biomass at Croft Castle?’ I hear you say……’didn’t I see a blog about it way back in 2013?’ Well, I’m glad to say it’s here, it works and now we have the keys.
My names Ed and I inherited the project a few months ago just as the first spade hit the ground. What a great time to come into it. Jo (the project manager) and the team did 18 months of hard slog to get the project planned and then, thanks to a timely baby on Jo’s behalf, I got to see it all built. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly construction happens after all that development work, but here we are three months down the line providing good clean energy to the Croft Castle site.
So what have we got? A 199kW biomass boiler, powered by our very own woodchip produced on the local estate and a buried heat main supplying power to the castle, stables, a holiday cottage and a farm. Oh, and a sliding roof (think Thunderbirds) to allow maximum woodchip storage – it’s amazing.
To christen the site we held our first tour last weekend at the Green Living event. There aren’t many sites where you can see the whole biomass process in a short walk, but you certainly can at Croft. It really brings home the sustainable nature of this project, seeing our woodland, next year’s log piles (80 tonnes of it), woodchip in the store, the boiler ready and waiting, and the property heating systems at the end of the heat main – it’s all there.
No more oil, more efficient heating, 52 tonnes less Co2 released annually, savings on daily fuel costs and a sustainable power source for years to come. What’s not to like?