England’s Gloucester Cathedral Gets Solar PV System

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Southwestern England’s Gloucester Cathedral is now home to a 38 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system, one expected to reduce the facility’s energy costs by around 25%.


The new solar energy installation at the >1,300-year-old cathedral — host to the tomb of King Edward II (deceased 1327), amongst other things — makes it one of the oldest cathedrals (or rough equivalents) anywhere in the world to have such a system.

The system was installed by local firm Mypower. A rep for the company, Ben Harrison, stated in an interview with CNBC that the solar PV panels would curtail around 16 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

He also stated that the installation job had been “the opportunity of a lifetime.” Sounds like it. Going on: “Very few people get the opportunity to go on the roof of Gloucester Cathedral, let alone be part of creating its future. … In terms of the sustainability, the energy production, it’s been extremely satisfying.”

Worth noting here is that many churches and cathedrals in England (and elsewhere) are aligned with the east/west axis — meaning that many possess south-facing roofs.

Commenting on the reasons for the installation, Anne Cranston, Project Pilgrim manager at Gloucester Cathedral, stated in a phone interview with CNBC: “The Church of England … has a campaign which is called Shrinking the Footprint, and it’s a very ambitious campaign to reduce carbon emissions throughout the Church by 80% by 2050.”

That matches with previous statements from Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, who has noted in the past that the Church of England is “committed to mitigate the effects of climate change which will fall disproportionately on the poor and vulnerable in the world.”

Notably, Cranston finished off her interview by stating that this was only the start of things and that the historical site “will continue to go green, there is lots more that we need to do.”

Photo via GloucestershireLive

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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