Chatsworth has a 35,000 acre agricultural estate including many small villages where the houses are tenanted. In 2014 we undertook a study into the CO2 output of the tenanted estate and found that it was high (561 tCO2e). This led to the decision to take steps to make it more sustainable with quantifiable impacts.
Through the Fit for the Future Network, we were linked with the National Trust and received advice about installing biomass boilers based on their experience. We learnt about which systems the Trust was using, and the pitfalls encountered during installation. This gave our team the confidence boost needed to start fitting biomass boilers. The advice from the National Trust allowed for quick project development. Without this input it would have been a much slower process in gathering evidence to validate installing the boilers.
In just over a year Chatsworth have installed 15 biomass systems into their properties – a figure that would have been reduced by a third if we had not had the advice from the Trust. These boilers have produced over 1 million KWH and have saved 271 tCO2e.
We then hosted a Network event, From Harvest to Heat, at which fellow practitioners and industry professionals covered the whole process of renewable heat from sustainable woodland management to the maintenance of boilers.
I gave a presentation on the Chatsworth case study, and there were lots of questions and follow ups. We were thus able to pass on our knowledge and lessons learnt to other members of the Network.