• The National Trust Wales

    Multiple solar PV installations against deadlines in precious locations

1

System

247 kW Solar PV

2

Financial benefit

£73,000 annually

3

Energy generated

212 MWh electricity annually

4

CO2 reduction

120 tonnes annually

What the client wanted

In 2012, we were approached by the National Trust in Wales to implement solar PV installations at six historically significant properties in Wales.

The client was keen to understand how solar PV could make a real impact on carbon savings at each location, how we could minimise the visual impact of the systems, and how well we could work with on-site staff.

The challenges

Historically sensitive sites that are open to the public for much of the year do not come without their challenges!  Our team worked hard to understand the inner workings of this very large organisation with employees who are deeply committed to their purpose.

We had face to face meetings very early on with the custodian of each site to ensure that our method statements would fit around the day-to-day operation and access to the sites.

Against this backdrop was a requirement to undertake the work in less than three months from contract signature.

The end result

We installed 247 kW of solar PV across six sites, both on the ground and on roofs.

Generating over 212MWh of energy each year, the six sites secure a potential revenue of £73,000 each year for the National Trust, as well as cutting the organisation’s carbon output by 120 tonnes per annum and reducing its electricity bills by more than £20,000.

We installed both ground and roof mounted installations in a variety of locations including castles (Powis and Penrhyn), cottages and farms.

The National Trust’s largest single solar project, a 50kW installation at Penrhyn Castle, had it’s own unique solution.  Being a site of historical importance, it was important that the panels not impact on the views of, or from, the castle.  The Solar panels were installed in the car park, not visible from the castle, but responsible for generating 25% of the overall electricity requirement.

Justin Albert, Director of the National Trust in Wales, said:  Generating our own power on site, and pioneering the use of renewable technology, is freeing up potentially hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, which can be directed towards vital conservation work at properties and on the coast and countryside.  We chose Prescient Power because of their innovative approach, their strong project management skills and their careful approach to working in environmentally and historically delicate sites.  Their array designs gave us highly efficient systems with large output, ensuring that we made the most out of this investment.

In addition to this project we’ve also recently installed a 10kW Solar panel system at another of the National Trust’s sites. For this site being inconspicuous was the order of the day so we used black framework and black panels. The result is a lot more subtle as you can see in our news story. Carl, our Managing Director, also had the opportunity to discuss our work with the National Trust in a short interview for the television.

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