To become a net generator of green energy, we need to make a series of improvements to our energy efficiency and replace the use of fossil fuels with energy from renewable sources.
Over the past 18 months, alongside a team of expert engineers and consultants, we have developed a ground-breaking scheme that will take us a significant step closer to meeting our targets. If successfully developed, Blenheim will be a net generator of green energy and the Palace will become carbon neutral, also benefiting from exporting surplus power back into the grid. It would be the only model of its kind in the UK.
This scheme maximises the potential of Blenheim’s resources in a sustainable and sympathetic way, whilst supporting the future energy security and air quality of our surroundings. The scheme comprises: a solar park, an energy storage system, a water source heat pump, and a new electricity supply.
We are proposing a small-scale solar array, just under 30 acres located to the north of the sewage treatment works, generating in the region of 6.4 million (6,400,000) kWh per year.
Alongside the planners and grid providers we have worked up this size to take pressure off the local grid network. The Palace would run entirely on renewable electricity, with surplus power being fed back into the grid. The location is screened from local viewpoints and we'll be landscaping to minimise glint and glare.
The Palace is currently heated by boilers which are highly reliant on carbon-based fuels. By extracting heat from the Great Lake, we will meet over two thirds of the Palace’s heat demands with renewable energy. This pump will be powered by the renewable energy generated by the solar park.
To make all of this work efficiently in an old building, we will install a smart building management system which will then reduce the needs of the Palace and optimise the renewable energies exported back into the grid during the day and night.
Generating solar power is great, but it is often generated when you least need it, so we plan to install a high capacity battery to balance these energy demands during the day and night. In siting it next to the existing substation north of Woodstock it also connects directly into the grid.
The local grid network is not in great shape, so rather than burden it further and risk these projects not working together, we plan to connect the renewable energies to the Palace with a new cable. This will then tie into the existing grid exporting excess electricity back.