A new biomass-based district heating scheme is set to reduce energy costs at one of Wales’ most popular tourist attractions.

The village of Portmeirion in Gwynedd (pictured) has invested £1 million ($1.47 million) in the wood chip-fuelled scheme, which is comprised of two 499 kW Froling biomass boilers and two 620 kW backup oil boilers and includes a network of over 3 km of pipes supplied by Germany-based Rehau.

The network will supply heating and hot water to 29 buildings including the Castell Deudraeth Hotel, holiday cottages, shops, restaurants and the village swimming pool. 

UK-based renewable energy installer ESP Energy, which installed the system, said the project was challenging due to a 40 km height difference between the castle at the top of the village and the cottages below, with some of the pipework needing to be installed into bare rock.

The village of Portmeirion was built by architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1976. It became famous in the 1960s as the setting for The Prisoner television series and still attracts over 200,000 visitors each year.

Meurig Jones, Attractions Manager of Portmeirion, said: ‘In the words of our famous architect who built Portmeirion, we should cherish the past, adorn the present and construct for the future, and that is certainly what we are doing with this project.’

Image credit: Michael Maggs, Wikimedia Commons