A Greener Clayesmore

Clayesmore became a local pioneer of greener fuel in 2016, when the antiquated heating system was replaced with the installation of a bang-up-to-date biomass district heating system.

After a review of the Government’s Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), we needed to commission an assessment. This included looking into both energy saving measures and the potential for renewable energy.

One of the options presented in the findings was that the installation of a biomass district heating system would prove a viable and beneficial replacement for the heating system that was in place and, after months of mud, trenches, diggers and safety fencing, the new system was fired up last autumn and has been pumping out heat ever since.

With two, huge boilers, fired by wood chip sourced locally from the nearby Ranston estate, the biomass is doing a great deal to improve Clayesmore’s environmental credentials. Previously, being in a rural location and away from the gas main, we had to rely on oil and LPG to fuel our boilers; now, it’s all coming from this one source on the site, with the heat being distributed right across the campus, from Kitchen to King’s, via almost 2km worth of underground pipework. Some 41 out of 42 outdated plant rooms at the School have been rendered redundant and we are very positive about the results. The environmental argument for using wood as a fuel is a strong one and we expect to meet well over 90% of our heat and hot water demand with biomass.

The ESOS assessment also flagged up solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation as a viable option, so we launched a project to install panels on the roofs of the Sports Centre and the Design & Technology extension. These are now in place and the aim is that this will generate enough renewable energy to meet around 9% of our annual electricity consumption.

In addition to all this, Clayesmore is constantly reviewing its vehicle fleet and currently runs a number of little electric buggies to carry maintenance staff and materials around the site, making savings on fuel and even further progress towards a smaller carbon footprint.

Not bad for a corner of the Dorset countryside!

You can see how our PV panels are doing today:

In the Sports Centre

On the DT Building