UK’s First Solar Powered Theme Park
GREENWOOD FOREST PARK BECOMES FIRST THEME PARK TO BE POWERED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY
A leading theme park has become the first in the UK to be powered by renewable energy.
GreenWood Forest Park in Y Felinheli, North Wales, unveiled a £150,000 ground-mounted solar array on Friday September 18th which will provide more than 80 per cent of the park’s energy needs.
The 576-panel 150kWp system will save the park over £1million in energy costs over a 25-year period as well as providing a carbon saving of 1,700 tonnes over the same period.
The launch of the renewable energy system comes at an exciting time for GreenWood Forest Park. More than £900,000 is being invested in a major new ride – due to open in the Spring of next year – which will also have its power needs met by the solar panels.
The system will also have an educational purpose. In addition to the current 146,000 annual visitors to the tourist attraction, school parties will be able to learn about how solar energy is powering the park. There is a public display panel which continually updates visitors on the benefits being achieved through the solar panel installation.
Stephen Bristow, owner and Managing Director of GreenWood Forest Park, said: “I believe GreenWood Forest Park is the first tourist attraction of its kind to produce the vast majority of its power from renewable sources.
Many theme parks use huge amounts of electricity and could be doing a good deal more to address the issue of carbon reduction.
I am extremely proud of our investment in the new solar array which will provide around 80 per cent of our power needs.
GreenWood Forest Park has always taken the view that fun should not come with a heavy environmental price tag. We have previously built a medieval-style Great Hall using Welsh Oak grown within 80 miles of the park and we have used recycled slate products for car parks and paths.
In 2004, we designed and built the world’s first people-powered rollercoaster which uses a fraction of the power of conventional rollercoasters.
We have also always managed to run our business using less than one unit of electricity per visitor per year.”
Gary Brandwood, Managing Director of Manchester-based Perfect Sense Energy, said: “Perfect Sense Energy and our partners Gwynedd Renewables and Pioneer Contracting are delighted to have been able to design and install the first solar array of its kind at a UK theme park.
At certain times, the PV array produces more than double the amount of energy being consumed by the park, with the excess renewable energy being exported on to the grid for other local consumers to use.
We hope that other tourist and leisure attractions see what GreenWood Forest Park have done and consider harnessing renewable energy within their businesses.”