Glyndebourne, UK

Glyndebourne marks its 80th anniversary this year and is still a widely renowned landmark for opera and classical music. The 1200-seat venue features almost 100 performances a year and has played host to the world’s greatest opera singers, musicians and conductors over the years. The organisation produces live performances both for the annual Glyndebourne Festival and national tour, has a year round Education programme and films many productions for distribution to a broader audience through cinema and digital streaming.

Glyndebourne is the first UK arts organisation to have built a wind turbine on site. Newly released figures show that the Glyndebourne wind turbine has exceeded its target in its second year of operation. In the 12 months to January 2014, the turbine generated enough energy to cover 102% of the organisation’s electricity needs, surpassing the projected target of 90%. Any power that isn’t used by Glyndebourne is exported to the UK national grid to provide a source of renewable energy for the community.

The result was achieved in spite of an increase in the number of performances at the opera house in 2013, due in part to an increase in output but more fundamentally to the success of a continued energy-saving drive across the organisation. To ensure that the renewable power is used efficiently: an inverter has been fitted to the main auditorium air handler unit to control the speed of the fan to save energy; the use of more energy efficient boilers has been introduced as old ones are replaced; motion sensors and timers have been installed to improve all round efficiency; and there have been ongoing efforts in recent years to use LED and energy saving light bulbs where possible and to use a lower wattage of bulbs throughout the estate, while staff have undergone training to ensure energy consumption is minimized in the office environment.

Thanks to Glyndebourne for the information in this case study.

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