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8 April, 2016 - 10:37 By Kate Sweeney

Scheme bids to save 7,500 tonnes of carbon emissions in 20 years

Abel Energy

The switch has been thrown on one of the biggest renewable energy installations in Norfolk in a move projected to cut energy costs by £4.25 million and save over 7,500 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 20 years. A major facility run by specialist learning disability services provider Jeesal Group is at the heart of the initiative.

The one megawatt biomass plant and 200 kilowatt solar photovoltaic installation at Cawston Park were switched on by Jeesal director of operations Sel Akman with Chris Abel of Abel Energy, the Watton-based company which designed and built the £1m scheme.

The new installation will provide a megawatt of heat and over 200 kilowatts of electricity to Cawston Park, which provides specialist care for adults with learning disabilities and associated needs.

“This has been the biggest single renewable energy scheme we have built,” said Chris Abel, managing director of Abel Energy. “It has replaced an old, inefficient heating system at Cawston Park, which will provide significant ongoing cost savings, as well as considerably reducing the facility’s carbon footprint.”

The scheme saw Abel Energy construct a purpose-designed 400 cubic metre wood chip fuel store and plant room to house the biomass boilers and associated equipment, as well as installing 1.2 kilometres of district heating main to deliver heat to 11 separate buildings. The 770 ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels cover an area of a third of an acre.

Sel Akman said Jeesal was now looking at more renewable energy sources for its other sites as the organisation continues to grow.

The privately-owned Jeesal Group was founded in 1985, and is one of the largest independent providers of specialist learning disability services across Norfolk. It provides specialist care for adults with learning disabilities and associated needs, and employs around 500 people in the county. 

• PHOTOGRAPH: Chris Abel of Abel Energy (left) and Sel Akman of Jeesal commission the new biomass installation at Cawston Park, Norwich

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