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Holne Chase

Holne Chase
The property, formerly a hotel, dates back to William 1st and is a large detached house in an idyllic setting of approx 100 acres of woodland beside the River Dart. There are also three holiday cottages and two other let properties on the site with separate energy supplies. A comprehensive survey of the site was completed, identifying various opportunities to both reduce energy use as well as take advantage of renewable energy sources. A programme of works was agreed which included the installation of a 9.9kW Solar Array and a Biomass Boiler Installation to replace the existing oil system.

Solar Panel Array

The client's aim was to reduce the significant daytime electric use as well as benefit from the feed-in-tariff. They also wished to try to blend the installation into the glorious grounds surrounding the house and, with the support of the Dartmoor National Park, a high quality ground mounted black Antaris System was installed in the grounds of the house taking full advantage of the topography of the land.

The main house had undergone a number of changes of use in the past and the electrical installation was quite complex. In consultation with Western Power our experienced electrical team found a practical solution to the installation to ensure it maximised the solar production as well as complied fully with all the relevant regulations.

The solar array now helps power the laundry and electric aga which are used consistently throughout the day and the electric bills have reduced as a result.

Biomass Boiler System

The second element of the renewable energy system was to install an ETA 130kW Biomass boiler in a separate renovated garage in the grounds between the main house and holiday cottages. A 230m district heating system was installed in the grounds to take the heat and hot water to the houses and the existing oil boilers were left in place as 'back up' in case of need.

The local Dartmoor Partnership were involved in the design of the wood fuel store (built by a local builder) and now supply wood chip to the site although in the longer term our client is looking to manage their own 100 acre woodland to provide wood chip for the site. This will make them self supporting in heat generation.

The boiler system has proved very reliable and is performing efficiently across the site with savings in line with the expectations laid out in the original business case. Regular quarterly RHI payments are being received and as a result the investment is expected to be paid back in around 5 years.

Richard Simpson comments:
David Cosford and Ian Sawle , Directors of 5D Group, both visited to appraise the site for possible renewable energy options. We opted for both the 10kw ground mounted solar unit and the wood chip boiler to help secure the energy needs of the site in the long term and to utilise the natural resources we have on the site. They were extremely helpful and truly efficient at all times under pressure to complete the job before the tariffs changed. Both systems are working extremely well and they were able to deal effectively with several unforeseen hiccoughs that could have been troublesome were it not for their ability to supervise and visit several more times to iron out problems.