AN outdoor activity centre for people with disabilities near Barnstaple has installed a wind turbine as the first part of plans to capture the power of wind, sun and waste. The Countess of Arran will tomorrow (Saturday) unveil the turbine at the Calvert
AN outdoor activity centre for people with disabilities near Barnstaple has installed a wind turbine as the first part of plans to capture the power of wind, sun and waste.The Countess of Arran will tomorrow (Saturday) unveil the turbine at the Calvert Trust Exmoor at Wistlandpound.The patron of the charity, the Countess will switch on lights to illuminate the 14-metre high turbine at 5pm. Calvert Trust Exmoor (CTE) is reducing its impact on the environment by using a combination of three renewable energy technologies for heating, lighting and hot water, eventually saving an estimated 550 tonnes-plus of carbon dioxide emissions every year. The systems - wind turbine, solar thermal and biodigester - will cost £185,000 and are being funded with £30,000 from EDF Energy's Green Fund, £45,000 from the Low Carbon Buildings Programme and £65,000 from Devon County Council. Efforts are continuing by the trust to secure the remaining funding for the solar thermal system. Electricity will be generated by a 14metre-tall, 30kw wind turbine designed to harness the gusty, shifting winds associated with the surrounding forestry plantation. The lattice tower was installed last month and the turbine is now generating energy. It is a type of turbine used more often in Australia and New Zealand and is expected to generate between 25 and 30 per cent of the centre's electricity needs. The first stage of plans for a 'biodigester' has also been added to the centre's existing sewage treatment system. Eventually the charity hopes the buried, submarine-shaped chamber will allow the centre to process more organic waste, including manure from 11 horses stabled on site, cardboard, paper, food, grass and wood chips. More investment is needed but eventually the equipment will generate methane gas for heating, minimise transportation of waste and reduce the centre's carbon footprint and waste disposal costs. A solar thermal system to heat the indoor pool will reduce use of oil. The aim is for eight panels of 30 solar thermal tubes to be fitted to the pool roof. These will use the power of the sun to generate 18kW of energy to help heat and maintain the pool temperature at an above average temperature for the benefit of visitors with limited mobility. Together the green energy systems could save the charity up to £18,000 from its £55,000 annual energy costs. Live data will be displayed in the site's Discovery Centre showing how much energy the systems are producing. Fiona Sim, CTE development manager, said: "It's really exciting to see the project going ahead. Bringing in renewable energy technology will make an enormous difference to us. We are not Government funded and must raise all the funds we need to bring people here. We do as much as we can with fund raising and bursaries but this project will enable us to keep costs down for visitors. " CTE offers outdoor adventures for people with a variety of disabilities. Visitors can take part in riding, swimming, climbing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, archery, carriage driving, abseiling, orienteering and zip wire. Each year 2,500 residential visitors and 3,000 day visitors benefit from the services. Considerable energy is needed to make sure visitors get the same care and comfort they have at home. The new renewables build on the success of a wood pellet stove that already provides underfloor heating for the charity's Discovery Centre.