Renewable Energy Systems

Numerous homes and community buildings incorporate solar panels for hot water heating. A community company supplies panels to residential and commercial customers throughout the UK, both for new buildings and to retrofit existing buildings. Most new community buildings incorporate design features that invite passive solar radiation to reduce building heating needs, such as south-facing windows and conservatories and minimal wall openings on north walls. Sustainably harvested wood provides space heating for both new and older homes.

Our four community-owned wind turbines, which have a total capacity of 750kW, supply more than 100% of the community's electricity needs. Our system is unusual in that the community owns its own private electricity grid, the main campus having originally been a private caravan park.The electricity produced by the turbines is sent to a substation that meters the flows, alters the transmission voltages and acts as a switching station. When the wind blows the electricity is used on-site. If production exceeds demand the surplus is exported to the grid. If the wind does not blow the site imports from the grid. Overall we are net exporters of electricity. Green electricity generation is one of our successful community businesses.

The guidelines for new buildings in the ecovillage encourage very high levels of insulation, and double- or triple-glazed windows with low-emission window coatings. Architects are encouraged to incorporate energy efficiency considerations into every building design. Energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs are installed in many residences, businesses and community buildings. The ecovillage is a test case for a research project on the feasibility of using load management technology, which is equipment that helps match the electricity output of the wind turbines with the electricity requirements of community homes and businesses Energy running costs for newer houses are many times less than the running costs for the original old caravans.

Using solar, wind and wood, combined with highly energy-efficient features in our new buildings, the Findhorn ecovillage now receives 28% of its total non-transportation energy from renewable sources. We expect to increase this percentage as caravans are gradually replaced with energy-efficient new houses.

Click here for more information on our Wind Park,

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Findhorn Ecovillage The Park Findhorn IV36 3TZ, Scotland, UK