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Duchy Timber invests in new solar panels

Monday 22nd February 2016

One of Cornwall’s oldest sawmills, Duchy Timber, is at the cutting edge of environmental conservation in its industry with the installation of a major solar power system at its Lostwithiel base.

Established in 1958, the timber, garden furniture, gates and fencing manufacturer, has installed a 250 kWh roof-mounted solar system, which will dramatically reduce on-site electricity usage by 30%.

This latest investment is part of an already comprehensive framework of environmental policies, which include using FSC certified wood sourced from within a 50 mile radius of the branch and planting three trees for every one used.

In addition Duchy Timber’s computer controlled timber drying kilns are fired using wood waste from the mill, significantly cutting energy consumption from the national grid. Any remaining wood waste from the site is recycled for use in third party power stations and chipboard production.  

Olly Bennett, General Manager at Duchy Timber, said: “Cornwall is at the forefront of renewable energy in the UK and we are proud to be playing our part in helping our planet by further reducing our carbon footprint. This latest investment, in solar energy, is part of our green philosophy as a company and we hope to influence others in our industry to follow suit.”

Duchy Timber is part of the Premier Forest Group, one of the UK’s leading independent importers and distributors of timber and panel products. Premier installed solar technology at its head office in Newport early last year, and is currently commissioning a dedicated biomass plant that together with the solar panels will enable it to run its office, warehouse and all machinery on renewable energy. This is part of a combined group commitment to lowering the company’s carbon footprint further achieved by the head office installation of electric vehicle charge points for use by company and visitor vehicles.

Premier Forest Group plans further PV solar installations across its UK and Irish sites and is looking at further ways to lead the sector through combined heat and power (CHP) technology, water management and reduction of on-site energy demands.

Duchy Timber operates a state of the art site, with computer-controlled sawmill, timber drying kilns, a pressure treatment plant and extensive machining facilities.

The Lostwithiel site supplies craftsman made fencing and garden furniture products direct to consumers and independent timber suppliers across the South West and Southern UK.

Duchy Timber's general manager Olly Bennett