Description of Property
Nestled in the Scottish Borders, Dawyck Botanic Gardens is a five star visitor attraction with 65 acres of woodland walks and an abundance of native and exotic plant life. With treasures in every season, the gardens are well known for their seasonal displays of snowdrops bluebells and Himalayan poppies. In addition to the gardens, Dawyck is home to an award-winning visitor centre with gift shop and café and is an ideal day out for all the family.
Dawyck House was one of the first houses in Scotland to have its own electricity supply and now the hydro-electric scheme that once powered the stately home has been brought back into service. The Hydro power scheme was officially launched on the 19th May 2014 making Dawyck the first carbon neutral botanic garden in the UK. Hydro power works by using falling water to drive a turbine and a generator. The water from the burn is filtered down through the screens to remove any debris, from here the water runs through a pipe and then falls down through the turbines. The kinetic and potential energy is extracted by the turbines to drive the generators to produce electricity.
The system was originally producing an average of 100 kWh per day until November 2015 when a new Coanda screen was fitted. Throughout the winter of 2014, the original screen was often blocked by leaves and debris carried by Scrape Burn down to the pond and there was clear potential to further increase the power generated.
The new Coanda screen was selected based on its self-cleaning system which requires little maintenance and does not need a power supply. The titled bar screen catches only the bottom layer of the water allowing debris to pass safely through. The new screen has proved highly efficient, increasing the power generation from an average of 100KWh to 239KWh per day. The scheme provides enough energy to power the visitor centre and garden infrastructure with any surplus being sold back to the national grid.
Dawyck have a display in the visitor centre where visitors can see the total energy generated as well as the total CO₂ saving since the hydro scheme started in 2014.
The scheme benefited from a £30,000 grant from the EDF Energy’s Green Fund in 2014. The garden invested i.r.o. £120,000 in the project which was then aligned with the funding in order to realise the project.
The payback time was estimated at 8-10 years which is proving accurate with revenue from the feed in tariff and savings on electricity bills
Immediate cost savings on bills as the site is producing its own energy
Carbon reduction – To date, a total carbon saving of 58.70 tonnes
Green energy produced – Dawyck Botanic Gardens is the first carbon neutral botanic garden in the UK