A CORNISH eco-holiday retreat has been chosen as the only UK base for a green energy research project.
Little White Alice in Carnmenellis, near Redruth, was selected by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and Cardiff University as the UK base for a new energy-focused research project.
Rosie Hadden, owner of Little White Alice, said: "We are thrilled to be involved in this groundbreaking project. Our aim was for the holiday cottages to use less energy, but also to find a way of conserving the energy we produce, so that we eventually fulfil all our energy needs from renewable systems on site.
"To be chosen as the only UK test site currently being used is a fantastic achievement, and we are pleased to help to have an impact on energy conservation across Europe."
The outcome will be the design and production of an automated control system, which will enable green energy used across different buildings on a site to be optimised. Kelvin Jones, scientist at BRE, said: "Little White Alice was chosen as the test bed for the system as it combines several sources of renewable electrical generation across a small site.
"As a mixed energy site, with a variety of different sized buildings, which all require different energy usage, it will allow us to understand the energy demanded by different building types, and eventually enable us to optimise the supply."
The energy used at the site is produced by wind turbines, solar panels and ground-source heat pumps.
Discrete environmental monitoring equipment has been installed and will begin collecting data about how the properties currently consume energy.
Dr Jones said: "The next step will be to take the equipment and system to a larger site, with different occupancy times and buildings with a variety of different uses.
"(We have) the aim of eventually producing an easy-to-use automated system for the average home."