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Powis Castle going green

Created on 06/07/2011 @ 16:47


Powis Castle may be more than 800 years old, but it has unveiled a dynamic and modern plan to switch to solar energy.
As Montgomeryshire continues its wind farm fight with energy giants, Powis Castle has decided to take its own action to become self sufficient using renewable clean energy by erecting 43 solar panels to power their extensive plant nurseries and popular tea room.
And before any critics accuse the Castle of double standards after it said views of the Severn Valley would be ruined by the proposed Leighton Super Dairy, officials say the panels will be virtually unseen.
Keith Jones of the National Trust, which manages the Castle, said: “We are hoping to demonstrate that even in such a sensitive setting appropriate measures can be taken to ensure this micro system works in harmony with its location.
“The system will be appropriately positioned within the confines of the commercial plant nursery, and only covers an area approximately the equivalent of two large living rooms”
The ground mounted micro Photovoltaic (solar panel) system planned by the Trust will provide all the electricity needed to power the plant nurseries and tea room. They will be virtually unseen as they will be screened by the existing greenhouses and hedges. It will provide enough electricity for the equivalent of almost three domestic houses.
The National Trust has committed to cutting its carbon footprint which has won praise from the Carbon Trust Wales and has seen the organisation almost half its use of power in the last 12 months
Mr Jones added: “The National Trust in Wales currently spends over £1/2 million every year on energy. This means £1/2 million being lost to our conservation work. As a conservation charity we cannot stand by and watch our resources being drained away from our core purpose.
“Fossil fuel derived energy and its resulting carbon emissions are becoming a bigger and bigger issue. It’s therefore imperative that we move away from oil and other potentially polluting, finite and expensive fuel to a more environmentally and financially sustainable approach.”
The application for the panels has been made to Powys County Council to consider.
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