£862k boost for livestock auctioneer in renewables overhaul

A livestock auction house in Northumberland is set to make a 236% return on investment '“ reaping an estimated £862,000 in energy savings and Renewable Heat Incentive payments over the next 20 years '“ after installing a ground source heat pump system and solar PV panels.

Hexham & Northern Marts interior
Hexham & Northern Marts interior

Located in the historic market town of Hexham (25 miles west of Newcastle), Hexham and Northern Marts specialises in the auction of livestock and cattle to farmers across the North East of England. In a bid to slash overheads and diversify its revenue streams, the business decided it was time to replace its old gas-fired heating system with a more sustainable alternative – one that would not only reduce energy consumption and running costs, but also earn additional income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

Minimising any impact on day-to-day operations during the transition was another key consideration. Managing director Robert Addison tasked renewable energy specialist and NIBE VIP Installer Calibrate Energy Engineering with finding the right solution to meet the heating and hot water demands of the 112,050 sq ft building.

The team at Calibrate specified, designed and installed a 300 kW renewable heating system made up of five 60 kW NIBE F1345 ground source heat pump (GSHP) units. They paired this with a 50 kW solar PV array, fitted to the roof of the main pen area, which partially powers the NIBE GSHP system. The in-ground heat collectors required for the GSHP were laid in the fields around the buildings, with the controls units sited in a prefabricated plant room to the rear of the premises.

Hexham and Northern Marts exterior

Robert Addison, managing director at Hexham and Northern Marts, says: “We couldn’t be happier with our new renewable heat and power sources. As well as delivering instant reductions in energy usage and subsequent savings on heating bills, the NIBE GSHP solution is providing us with a steady stream of income for the next two decades, thanks to the RHI. The power produced by the solar PV panels is an added bonus, and makes running the heat pump system even more cost-effective.

“As a result, we’re expecting to see returns of more than double our original investment over the next 20 years – which is absolutely invaluable from a business point of view. Not only this, but we’ve got an efficient, reliable renewables setup that’s fit for the future, and will continue to deliver ongoing savings for years to come.”

The five NIBE F1345 GSHP units now meet 95% of Hexham and Northern Marts’ 394,000 kW/h annual heating and hot water demand. Meanwhile, the 50 kW solar PV array generates enough free electricity to offset a significant 50% of the power needed to run the GSHP system.

Susie McDonald, director at Calibrate Energy Engineering, adds: “Hexham and Northern Marts’ priority was to replace its energy-guzzling gas heating system with one that would deliver a significant, tangible return on investment, without disrupting trading. By opting for the NIBE GSHP units and solar PV panels, we were able to do just that. Both systems are situated outdoors, away from the bustle of the auction house, and use their natural surroundings as an energy source.

Hexham and Northern Marts exterior

“The GSHP system generates enough renewable energy to heat the sales centre (including its reception area and three sales rings), while the solar PV array provides renewable electricity to complement it. What’s more, the installation took just three months from start to finish, and during this time it was business as usual for Hexham and Northern Marts.”

For more information on NIBE’s range of ground source heat pumps, or any of the products in its market-leading portfolio of heating, ventilation, cooling and heat recovery solutions, please visit www.nibe.co.uk.