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UK museum generates income with solar PV

The National Trust's carriage museum at Arlington Court is now generating its own income following the installation of one of the UK's largest solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on a historic building.

The 113m2 solar PV installation near Barnstaple, Devon, will generate up to 6.3 MWh of energy each year, saving the museum about £600 from its electricity bill and generating income of around £2270 per year by feeding solar PV energy back into the grid as part of the new feed-in tariff scheme.

Interestingly the solar PV nstallation has the added benefit of helping to protect the historic carriage collection in the museum, as the solar PV cells help to reduce the amount of ultraviolet light that enters the building.

Ana Chylak, Arlington Court Property Manager, explains: "I'm really excited that these panels have now been installed. We have worked hard across the property to reduce our energy consumption and it has already really made a difference to our bills. With these panels we can make a small contribution to the power we use as well as protecting our amazing carriages."

The solar PV project has been funded by sales of National Trust Green Energy which is supplied by the charity's energy partner, npower, and raises money to support low and zero carbon energy savings projects at Trust properties.

To date 25 National Trust properties have benefited from the partnership with npower with solar PV panels, biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps helping to generate energy and save money on fuel bills. The Trusts aim is to cut its overall energy demand by 20% by 2020 and to switch to renewable energy.

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Green building  •  Photovoltaics (PV)