Our quarries at Brassington Moor and Ryder Point consume approximately £3.5m of energy per annum, leaving the business exceedingly vulnerable both to shifting energy markets and to government energy policy.
Energy efficiency and evolving business practices both have their part to play. However, we will continue to be a large energy user, and with electricity prices expected to as much as double over the coming decade, it has become increasingly clear that Longcliffe's long term future depends on it generating its own energy.
Investment in renewable energy forms an integral part of Longcliffe's responsible energy policy and will give the company more control over its electricity costs as well as helping to secure the future of the business and its 150 local employees.
Following approval by local planning authorities, the construction of two 2.5MW wind turbines at our Ryder Point quarry has started and they should be in operation by end of 2016.
The wind turbines will have maximum height to blade tip of 102 metres. The development also includes associated access tracks, site access point, control building, underground cabling and a 61m meterological mast.
For further information about the development please go to Ryder Point Wind Turbines Planning Application.
The wind turbines will contribute hugely towards reducing the company's electricity costs. However, they will not be working all of the time, and they also cannot be connected directly to the company's Brassington Moor quarry. So in working towards our long-term goal of achieving a carbon neutral ex-works product, we have entered in to consultations regarding the installation of 3MW solar farm to add further renewable generation capacity.
Longcliffe believe that a 3MW solar installation at the rear of the company's new transport depot at Curzon Lodge (see map of planned Curzon Lodge Solar Park) would be enough to cover the quarry's usuage at peak times and approximately one-quarter of Longcliffe's total electricity usage.
More information on the planned project will be published on the website in due course and it is envisaged that approval should be finalised by the end of 2015.
NB: Longcliffe has been certified to the ISO 14001 environmental standard for a number of years, and last year became the first operation of our kind in the country to be certified to the ISO 50001 energy management standard. This entails constant improvement in the way in which energy usage is managed, and doing everything possible to minimise energy consumption and to maximise the efficiency with which energy products are bought. This is not just about reducing our impact on the local and wider environment - as anyone who is responsible for paying their household energy bill can attest - it is also a question of keeping costs to a sensible minimum.