Friars Court - Beauty in rural Oxforshire
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Renewable Energy

The Willmer’s have had a long interest with renewable energy and there are currently over 20 acres of willow trees grown on the farm. Primarily used as a short rotation coppice biomass fuel crop, some is also used by schools and craftsmen to create ornamental artwork for gardens, from fence panels to living structures. Examples on display around the grounds include a 50 foot living willow tunnel and a willow arbour. The trees for biofuel are normally harvested once every three years after which the wood is chipped, dried, then burnt in heat-producing bio-boilers for houses and industrial units.

The farm generates its own electricity, nearly 45 kW, through the use of three banks of photovoltaic solar panels. Just outside the gardens beyond the Moat Ponds are two banks of panel arrays; the smaller 4.5 kW system was installed in 2004 whilst a 9.8 kW system was installed in 2011. A much larger third array was installed in 2015 on the roof of the main cow shed and can generate up to 30 kW.

On a sunny day, at maximum output, Friars Court can be self-sufficient for electricity with any surplus going back to the National Grid. 

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