Regenerating neglected woodlands, generating green heat

Woolhope Woodheat is a Community Co-operative. We install wood fuel boilers free of charge to hard-to heat buildings – and then supply heat at a reduced price over fossil fuel, with woodchip from local, sustainable woodlands. You can join our co-operative and get a decent return on your investment while doing something real to reduce carbon emissions and save neglected woodland from decay.

Check out our short film to find out more. Please note our first share offer is now complete.

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RHI approval at Canon Frome

We’re very pleased to say we finally got approval for the Renewable Heat Incentive. The process has been hard work – both in the level of detail required and the difficulties put in our way by misdrafted legislation (somebody missed out the word ‘or’ on a key Govt document!) which has now been sorted. Anyway, our registration is backdated to September, so it covers pretty much the entire heating season. or as it has been known this year, the drying season!

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The future of heating

FutureofHeating We’ve just been told we were featured in The Future of Heating: Meeting the challenge – a publication from DECC which came out in March. Hopefully lots of people will make it to page 81 and be inspired. It’s heartening that green heat is at last on the agenda nationally. Now all they have to do is sort out the paperwork side – we are currently working through out the RHI application which is not exactly the simplest process!

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Fired up at Canon Frome

Boiler is up and running at Canon Frome Court! Members of the Co-op visited to see the installation in action this week before the AGM.

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Gas tanks in – just in case

We are not planning to use these very often – but the project does have 100% gas backup just in case. There are 3 LPG boilers which will fire in turn if needed to provide peak loads in the very coldest winters – also means the biomass boiler is optimally sized and will run efficiently. There will be a chance for members to visit the installation before the AGM – unfortunately these will be underground by then.

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Site visit

Yesterdays Board meeting was held at Canon Frome Court (thanks Bridget!) and the WW Board were able to visit the installation: coming on well and we are on course for handover on 15 July! Lots of good pics from site

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Woolhope Woodheat in the news

We merited a mention by the Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey this week in the Guardian. He refers to “a renewable heat project in Herefordshire that replaces fossil fuels with locally grown biomass”  – that would be us, then!

In the meantime there has been more progress on site with the chip store now in place next to the boilerhouse and lots of other activity on site



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Boilerhouse and trenching

Woolhope Woodheat director Gareth Williams made a flying visit with Sharenergy staff last week to have a look at progress on site. Since then equipment has been arriving in the boilerhouse preparatory to plumbing and wiring.

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Work starts on site

Well after a number of false starts we are underway and it’s great to see things happening at what suddenly seems like incredible speed! More photos will be posted as work progresses on site – here is a first taster:

The boiler house is now in place and the trenches for the district heating dug. Next steps are the chip store, the boiler itself, and the laying of pipes in the trenches.

A lot of work has also been going on behind the scenes in tweaking the design to make sure the system will be as efficient as possible. Completion date is now set for late July – in time for the hottest August in living memory no doubt!

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Planning permission obtained

Great news – we now have planning permission for our Canon Frome Court install subject to some landscaping conditions which are in hand as we speak. In the interim we have been making excellent progress with the legal intricacies and making sure all share monies have cleared. We will be writing shortly to all share applicants to share the results of the share offer and to outline our plans for share allocation and spending of funds. Just a few more hurdles to make sure everything is in place  – our installers are champing at the bit!

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Target reached

Thanks to everybody who has applied for shares or promoted the project. As you can see from the dial on this page we’ve comfortably reached our target – despite the fact that the dial lags a little and we haven’t finished the processing of the large  number of applications we received in the last 2 days of the share offer period. Apologies to anybody who missed out – we are enforcing  the deadline strictly so as to be scrupulously fair in share allocations which will be made next week. This is just the first installation for Woolhope Woodheat – we’ll be concentrating on that and then getting back to the business of finding new hard-to-heat buildings who need one of our boilers  – ideas gratefully received (they’ll need to be off gas grid and spend at least £5000/yr on heating currently). Once we have some new installs lined up we’ll be doing another share offer so there will be another chance for those who missed out this time. Thanks everyone!

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