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What is Biomass?

Biomass is the use of organic matter, in our case wood chips, to burn in order to heat water. We harvest the wood from Estate woodland and it is chipped on site.

Why change to Biomass?

Compton Estates are always looking to be more sustainable, leave a lower carbon footprint and generally lessen its impact on the environment. Installing a biomass heating system to serve the village is a great way to help us do that. Compton Estates owns over 900 acres of woodland that can be used in the biomass process.

Lord Northampton first installed a biomass boiler at Compton Wynyates in 2010 and sees biomass as the future of our heating needs.


Why is Biomass environmentally friendly?


Biomass energy is produced from organic matter, in our case trees, and is a carbon neutral process. Biomass energy has a minimal carbon footprint, especially when compared with fossil fuels which the Estate had previously used in oil and gas. The amount of CO2 and Methane is reduced in the Biomass process which further goes to combat climate change.


How many properties are served by the biomass district heating system?


42 residential properties in Castle Ashby are served by the system as well as 27 commercial properties within the village. The Estate Office and the Castle itself are also served by the Biomass System.


Is it the first of its kind?

As far was we know Castle Ashby is the first entire village in England to be served by a Biomass District Heating System. This is something of which we are very proud.

Benefit for tenants?


Tenants receive a much more efficient and sustainable form of heating as well as it being cheaper to run than the original forms of heating.

The Process


Trees from the Compton Estate are felled and stored outside for two years. These are then turned into wood chips and placed in an area to dry. When needed these chips are then moved into the Biomass area. From here they are automatically fed into one of two boilers (one 540kW and one 400kW) which burn the woodchip in order to heat the water. This water is then stored in two holding tanks and then fed out along three routes around the village. Each house has a heat exchange unit which draws heat from these pipes and into the property when required. The water then circulates back to the boilers to be reheated and the process starts again.

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