Many of the 63 visitors arrived half an hour early to this oversubscribed event at the Duchy of Cornwall’s 900 acre Harewood End Estate between Hereford and Ross. The estate has a biomass district heating system, an air source heat pump and (if all goes well with the feed-in tariff) a micro-hydroelectric scheme powered by a recommissioned hundred-year-old water wheel. These systems are all contributing to the Duchy’s ambitious plan to reduce its carbon emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2012.
The group was split into three for tours of the installations which were given by a range of organisations including Midlands Wood Fuel Ltd, Solarsense, the Herefordshire branch of the Food and Wildlife Action Group (which helps reduce carbon emissions from farms) and Ice Energy (which installs air and ground source heat pumps). Here is Ewan Bent of Midlands Wood Fuel giving an overview of the estate's 100kW woodchip boiler:
Several of the visitors at yesterday’s event were interested in installing their own systems while others were local to the area and wanted to have a look around the estate. Tea and cake was provided at the end - a few people who had been to more than one event were approaching tea and cake capacity… Here is the property that is heated by the ground source heat pump:
The renewable energy systems are just part of an ongoing rural regeneration project which is being undertaken at a cost of £8-9million. Several live-to-work units are now occupied and the whole estate will eventually provide a combination of residential and workplace facilities for up to one hundred people.