We've taken another step towards our long-term aim to be carbon neutral by 2030, in line with targets agreed earlier this year by the Church of England. Ninety-three solar panels have been installed on the roof of the Cloisters.
The 37 kW installation was completed at the start of July and will provide 33,708 kWh of clean energy to Salisbury Cathedral, reducing its carbon footprint by 11,764 kilograms per year. The panels are located on the South Cloister roof and cannot be seen from the ground. Only visitors climbing the Spire will get a glimpse of them.
The project has been under development since late 2017 and planning permission was granted in March of this year.
Salisbury Community Energy partnered with Schools Energy Cooperative in 2019 to deliver the project, and the money was raised in November 2019 through a local community share offer. The panels are collectively owned by small, local and ethical investors who want to encourage more renewable energy generation. The project has been designed and installed by Joju Solar, who are a leading PV installer. In addition to our Cathedral, another four solar PV installations have been completed across Salisbury, totalling 206kW of capacity.
Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, says:
“The Church of England is working hard towards a Net Zero carbon footprint by 2030. As the Church of England’s lead bishop for the environment I am delighted that Salisbury Cathedral is making a contribution that takes us towards this. With clear purpose and helpful partnerships even iconic buildings can make a difference towards sustainability. In these strange times the possibilities of living differently seem all the more important and this project even more significant.”
Canon Robert Titley, Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral, says:
"We are delighted to be the second English cathedral to install solar panels as part of our continuing green initiatives, which have included draft proofing our medieval building, moving to green tariff energy and installing LED lighting. We are called to preach good news, and through this we are taking another small step toward being good news for God’s earth and not just part of the problem.”
Thomas Burnett, a Director of Salisbury Community Energy, says: “We are delighted to have been able to work with our partners to make this installation happen. It was always a very important site for Salisbury Community Energy as it sends a strong message. We hope it will galvanise others to follow suit. SCE is looking forward to continuing its work supporting the local community’s decarbonisation”
Mike Smyth, Chairman of School Energy Cooperative, says: “Schools Energy Co-op recognises the very prestigious nature of this iconic heritage building, along with the sensitivity required to preserve its appearance and structure. The panels are discreetly placed out of sight, but demonstrate that renewable technology can be compatible with historic architecture, thus satisfying aesthetics and environmental responsibility. It is hoped that this provides an example for other churches to follow.”