Installation of 93 solar panels on Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral takes a step forward in bid to become carbon neutral by 2030 with the installation of 93 solar panels

Salisbury Cathedral has taken a step forward in their bid to become carbon neutral by 2030 in line with targets agreed earlier this year by the Church of England by installing solar panels on the roof of its cloisters.

Energy4All member The Schools’ Energy Co-operative, working in partnership with local community energy organisation Salisbury Community Energy, delivered the installation, which was designed and installed by leading PV installer Joju Solar and managed by Energy4All project manager Laura Moreno.

The project has been under development since late 2017, when Salisbury Community Energy first approached the Cathedral about a possible installation.  In 2019, Salisbury Community Energy formed a partnership with Schools Energy Co-operative to deliver the project.  Supported by Energy4All, Schools Energy Co-operative raised the funds needed in November 2019 by means of a local community share offer.  Planning permission was then granted in March of this year.  The panels are collectively funded by ethical investors, many local to Salisbury, who want to encourage more renewable energy generation.

Located high on the South Cloister roof, the panels can only be seen briefly by visitors who are climbing the Spire and are not visible from the ground therefore taking nothing away from the splendour of this historic building.

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.

Commenting after the completion of the installation, Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury said “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.”

Canon Robert Titley, Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral added “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.”

On behalf of Salisbury Community Energy, Director Thomas Burnett said “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.”

These comments were echoed by Mike Smyth, Chairman of School Energy Cooperative.  “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.” He said.

Salisbury Cathedral Photography by Ash Mills | Salisbury Cathedral Photo above shows Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury Salisbury Cathedral Canon Robert Titley pictured with Members of Salisbury Community Energy Salisbury Cathedral James Page from Joju Solar installing the grids Salisbury Cathedral Canon Robert Titley with Laura Moreno, Director, Schools Energy Co-op.

To view more photographs of the installation please click here

Schools’ Energy Co-operative is an award winning, successful, ethical, community based, profitable social enterprise. It has raised £2,950,000 from five share offers, invested the money in installing Solar Panels on schools and community buildings and paid interest to its members on their investment. It launched in August 2014 and has already generated more than 6.4 GWh of renewable electricity. Salisbury Cathedral is its 81st installation, which are mainly on schools and total 2.99 MW.

Salisbury Community Energy (SCE) is a local not-for-profit community benefit society that was set-up in 2017 to help Salisbury decarbonise and manage the threats posed by climate change. It received grant funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund to identify potential sites for Solar Panels and hydro generators. The four other solar PV sites installed in partnership with Schools’ Energy Co-operative are: Bishops Wordsworth’s School, Kong Limited, St. Martin’s Primary School and Wiltshire College.

Joju Solar are one of the UK’s leading installers of solar PV, battery storage and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  Joju have been pioneering within the community energy sector and to date have installed nearly 20% of all community renewable energy projects in the country.