A LAKE District hotel is to planning to introduce pioneering technology which will use energy in England’s largest lake to meet most of its energy needs and substantially reduce its carbon emissions.
The owners of the Low Wood Bay Resort Hotel and Marina have commissioned a water source heat pump (WSHP) system to convert latent heat in Windermere to provide heating and hot water for the 111-bedroom hotel.
It will generate around three megawatts of power a year, equivalent to the power needed to boil a million kettles.
The Low Wood will become the first hotel in the Lake District to use the energy in the lake’s waters to fuel its business.
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It will also be the largest system of its kind to be used by a private business in the UK. Latent heat energy from Windermere will also be used to power a new glass-fronted convention and exhibition centre planned on the site, as well as a new watersports complex.
Tim Berry, estates director and co-owner of the family-run business English Lakes Hotels, Resorts & Venues, believes the innovative technology will prove to be an added attraction for holidaymakers, business leaders and organisations from all over the country. He said: “In an age where businesses are concerned about their carbon footprint, our guests can holiday and clients can hold their conferences here knowing they will have significantly less impact on the environment.
“Many people will be surprised that it is possible to generate so much energy from the cold waters of Windermere. This is an exciting and innovative form of renewable energy that has the potential to make a substantial contribution to the energy needs of areas like the Lake District.”
The hotel has commissioned renewable energy and eco-building specialists Ground Sun to develop the system.
Ground Sun is seeking approval from the Environment Agency to draw water from Windermere and pass it through a heat exchanger on the shore side before returning the water to the lake.
The heat exchanger will take water from the lake at around 3-4 degrees Centigrade and, with the use of a specialist high capacity heat pump, will generate temperatures of 75 degrees for use in the hotel’s space heating and hot water systems, providing two-thirds of the hotel’s energy needs.
It will then return the water almost immediately back to the lake at around the same temperature it was taken out.
The hotel also has a planning application in to build a hydro-electric power generator, harnessing the power from a nearby fast flowing stream, to provide electricity to assist the running of the heat pumps and the hotel.