An outdoor swimming pool has opened for the spring and summer after a £140,000 eco-upgrade.
Chipping Norton Lido in Oxfordshire is warmed by a ground-source pump using heat from the soil and powered by solar panels on the roof.
The project was financed by several grants, including cash from EDF Energy’s Green Fund (£27,500) and the government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme (£63,505).
The low carbon water heating system and solar panels are expected to save 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. It captures heat from the sun, stored in the earth, by pumping cold liquid through nine boreholes, drilled in the car park when the pool was shut over the winter. The liquid is warmed by solar energy stored in the earth and at the surface a compressor raises the temperature to a level that can be used to heat the pool.
The environmental overhaul means the future of the pool is secure. In recent years it was under threat because of the high costs involved in heating it by gas.
Claire Jarvis, a trustee of the pool, said: “This vital project will significantly reduce the environmental impact inherent in running an open air heating pool and help address concerns about the long-term economic survival of the lido.”
EDF Energy has awarded £4m to 233 renewable energy projects since the Green Fund was launched in 2001, including £1.48m to 94 projects in schools, nurseries and colleges. The fund supports renewable energy projects which produce power from the sun, wind, water and geothermal sources that reduce greenhouse gases linked to global warming.