Our 50th renewable energy programme installation

We’re celebrating the completion of the 50th renewable energy installation through the Renewable Energy Investment Programme. This is a massive milestone in achieving our ambitious target to generate 50% of the Trust’s energy needs from renewables by 2020.

Climate change is affecting the places we love. By harnessing the power of nature and exploring renewable energy choices, we are playing our part in going greener. Across the National Trust, we have completed over 250 renewable energy installations in historic houses and the land we look after.

The Renewable Energy Investment (REI) Programme was set up in 2013 to tackle the National Trust’s reliance on fossil fuels. Since then, 50 large renewable energy projects have now been completed through the programme, generating over 23,500,000kWhs of electricity, enough to power a town of 5,875 homes each year!

As part of national Green GB week from 15th-19th October, we’re celebrating our successes in decommissioning oil tanks, lowering our energy costs, and providing renewable energy to our special places using sustainable wood fuel from the land we look after whilst also reducing carbon emissions.

How is the programme helping?

An important ambition for the REI Programme is getting our properties off oil. Since the Programme began in 2012 we have successfully removed over 750,000 litres of oil from our historic houses and sensitive places.

The REI Programme is also helping to save on our energy costs each year, as electricity generated from some of the projects is sold to the grid providing the National Trust with a source of income. This income from renewables combined with the savings made on energy bills enables the Trust to spend more money on vital conservation work.

The 50th Installation – Greenburn Hydro

Greenburn beck in full flow, Langdale Valley in the Lake District. ©National Trust Images/Simon Handley.

The historical importance and ecological sensitivity of the places we look after has meant that completing 50 renewable energy projects has been no mean feat.

Many of the properties in our care are energy intensive and in remote areas without access to mains gas. Installing renewable technology in these places is a huge challenge, but we’ve learnt a great deal and will continue to do so’.  Patrick Begg, Outdoors and Natural Resources Director.

Our 50th Installation on the REI Programme is Greenburn Hydro, nestled in the heart of the Langdale valley.  The project proves how energy can be generated in a way that works with the landscape, not against it.

Renewable technologies

As well as our hydro projects the REI Programme has delivered renewable heat projects that are improving the heating of some of our chilliest properties using a range of technologies.

Installing solar panels on the visitor centre roof at Anglesey Abbey ©National Trust Images/Linda Goudie.

Read more on our renewables projects and recent success stories including; the biomass project at Polesdon Lacey removing 60,000 litres of oil and looking after our valuable collections; The ground source heat pump at Basildon Park, our holiday cottages programme providing ‘greener holidays’, and Solar PV at Anglesey Abbey fuelling your cup of tea.

We’re playing our part, and this Green Great Britain week we ask Government to play theirs by being firmer in their commitment to financially support renewable heating projects beyond 2020, an area that the UK is currently lagging behind in.

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