Willow growing at Brook Hall Estate, L’Derry

John Gilliland is the Managing Partner of Brook Hall Estate, L’derry, Northern Ireland.  The Estate currently grows c.130 ha of short rotation willow and processes, dries and grades some 3,000 tonnes of dry woodchip each year.

In 1994, with help from AFBI (Agri Food & Bioscience Institute for NI) Loughgall, he planted his first willow on the farm. John has been closely involved with biomass production and utilization since that time and is now recognized throughout the world as one of the leading pioneers and innovators in this sector.

John is currently the Director of Original Heating. Original heating is the Regional Partner for the Austrian Biomass Boiler manufacturer for Ireland and Scotland. KWB is currently Germany’s best selling biomass boiler brand.

All heat for the farm, the farm houses, and driers now comes from a 300kW big bale boiler and 100kW KWB boiler, using the under and over sized woodchip, from the woodchip grading process. All electricity is wind electricity. Work continues with AFBI assistance to reduce the heat and electricity inputs.

Brief Overview

1988, First Experience of Renewable Heat

  • Brook Hall Estate: Installed 300kW boiler
  • Cost £20,000 Savings £6,000 per year Payback 3.6 years
  • No grant aid or RHI

2012, Renewable Energy at Brook Hall

  • Five Biomass Installations & hybrid with Solar Thermal
  • 2006, 100 kW KWB Installation, cost £25,000
  • Savings £4,800 per year, payback 5.2 years (No RHI)

Additional details at by emailing jgilliland@twisel.com

The full case study on Brook Hall Estate can be downloaded here: Case Study of willow growing at Brook Hall Estate

AFBI Agri Food and Bio Sciences Institute

AFBI are a leading provider of scientific research and services to government, non-governmental and commercial organisations in Northern Ireland. They have a 30kW anaerobic digestion plant, generating bioenergy from animal slurry and grass, and are currently installing an additional 99kW capacity.

Additional details on AFBI can be found at http://www.afbini.gov.uk/

The full case study is available to download Case Study of AFBI, Northern Ireland