Energy-saving project completed at Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo has installed 172 high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) modules on the roof of the visitor ce

Sutton Hoo has installed 172 high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) modules on the roof of the visitor centre, in partnership with Panasonic - Credit: Archant

An energy-saving project has been completed at ancient National Trust site Sutton Hoo.

An external building used for storage, which houses the biomass boiler that serves Tranmer House.

An external building used for storage, which houses the biomass boiler that serves Tranmer House. - Credit: Archant

The seventh century burial site near Woodbridge is one of the great archaeological finds of the 20th century.

Burton-based Lorien Engineering Solutions completed a feasibility study into low carbon and renewable energy options in 2015, and a biomass boiler was installed by East Green Energy, based at Rendlesham, near Woodbridge.

The system, fired by food pellets, serves Tranmer House, the former home of Edith Pretty, who instigated the celebrated Sutton Hoo digs in the 1930s. The house, built in 1910, is now partially open to visitors and is also home to four holiday flats.

The boiler is set to save approximately 27 tonnes of CO2 a year and replaces a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) system.


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As part of its commitment to renewable energies, Sutton Hoo has also installed 172 high-efficiency photovoltaic (PV) modules on the roof of the visitor centre, in partnership with Panasonic. The panels will generate around 42,000kWh of electricity each year – enough to supply more than 10 average UK homes.

It is expected that the two initiatives combined – the PV panels and the biomass system - will reduce the estate’s consumption of LPG by around 35,000 litres and save around 55 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

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Lorien’s sustainability consultant Tom Jordan said: “We have a strong track record of working closely with the National Trust and its partners to bring renewable energy and all of its benefits to various sites around the UK.

“It is particularly satisfying to see a hugely historic venue like Sutton Hoo embrace 21st century technology.”

In 2015 the National Trust announced a four-year, £30m investment in renewable energy projects at sites around the country, with a target of generating 50% of its energy needs through renewable installations, while reducing overall demand by 20% through efficiency measures by 2020.

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