We’re currently installing PV panels (often called ‘solar’ panels) on the roofs of our south facing cottages.

After our success with eco-house Lowen last year, we decided to roll out the renewable technology to some of our other cottages to help contain our energy costs and make the business more sustainable and eco-friendly.

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We believe it’s a sound investment, both financially, and in terms of our long-term aims to take the whole farm off-grid. The panels have a 25 year life and offer payback in 8 years. The government is currently offering an excellent rate with the Feed in Tariff, which means we get paid for the surplus energy we produce and send back to the grid.

Lowen’s PV panels currently produce enough enough electricity to meet its own energy needs, plus those of Buddleia and Hydrangea. We’ve recently re-routed the supply to include Olearia, as Buddleia will be getting its own PV array this weekend. Trerose and Pentree also now have PV panels.

The next steps

We’re hoping to upgrade our swimming pool in the autumn, and this will run off renewable energy. Long term, we aim to take to take most of the rest of the site off grid, which would involve setting up a PV array in the field.