Lighting up the Visitor Welcome Building at Wimpole

Our solar photovoltaic (PV) installation was the second phase of our renewable energy project here at Wimpole, providing electricity for our new Visitor Welcome Building and helping us to ‘grow our own’ energy from the sun.

Wimpole's Solar PV Project  

A new car park and visitor welcome building has been constructed to the South of the Stable Block. Over the summer and autumn of 2019, solar photovoltaic panels were installed in a discrete location in the corner of the new car park.

This is currently the biggest solar installation in the National Trust, eight times larger than the largest Trust solar installation to date. They will generate around 350,000kWh of electricity per year – enough to meet the electricity needs of 113 average UK homes or around half of the electricity used across the whole Wimpole Estate. 

Solar panels in the car park at Wimpole
Solar panels in the car park at Wimpole
Solar panels in the car park at Wimpole

How do solar panels work?

The panels are positioned to maximise the harvesting of the sun’s rays throughout the day. A bank of inverters converts the suns power into electricity that the Estate can use. As solar panels continue to work even on a cloudy day, this system is generating electricity for the Wimpole Estate 365 days a year.

The electricity is fed back via cables to the Utility Building next to the Visitor Welcome Building. The electricity can be used at Wimpole or it can be exported to the national grid for use elsewhere.

Facts and figures

  • Number of panels: 1,472 
  • Tonnes of CO2 saved per year: 152 
  • kWh of electricity generated per year: 350,000kWh
    (113 average UK homes or 50% of the Wimpole Estate's electricity use) 
  • Electricity savings if all electricity used on site: £40,000 

When was the solar pv system switched on?

The solar photovoltaic panels were installed by SAS ENERGY in 2019 and started generating electricity in February 2020.