Cathe­dral’s car­bon-neu­tral drive reach­ing new heights

Western Daily Press - - News - ROD MINCHIN news@west­erndai­ly­

ABISHOP has climbed on to the roof of his cathe­dral clois­ters where dozens of so­lar pan­els have been in­stalled as part of plans to be­come car­bon-neu­tral.

The Rt Rev Ni­cholas Holtam, Bishop of Sal­is­bury, went on to the 35ft (10m) high roof of the south clois­ter to see the 93 pan­els.

They will pro­vide 33,708 kilo­watt hours of clean en­ergy to Sal­is­bury Cathe­dral and re­duce its car­bon foot­print by 11,764kg per year.

The in­stal­la­tion of the pan­els, which will pro­duce a to­tal of 37kw of en­ergy, is another step to­wards the cathe­dral’s aim of be­com­ing car­bon­neu­tral by 2030.

Other en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives in­clude draught-proof­ing the me­dieval cathe­dral, us­ing green tar­iff en­ergy and in­stalling LED light­ing.

“The Church of Eng­land is work­ing hard to­wards a net-zero car­bon foot­print by 2030,” the bishop said.

“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.”

The bishop has re­cently signed a let­ter to the Gov­ern­ment ask­ing for the en­vi­ron­ment to be part of its post-Covid-19 plans.

The pan­els can­not be seen from the ground and only vis­i­tors climb­ing the 332 steps up Bri­tain’s tallest spire will get a glimpse of them.

The project has been un­der de­vel­op­ment since 2017 when Sal­is­bury Com­mu­nity En­ergy ap­proached the cathe­dral about a pos­si­ble in­stal­la­tion. The pan­els are col­lec­tively owned by small, lo­cal and eth­i­cal in­vestors who want to en­cour­age more re­new­able en­ergy gen­er­a­tion.

Thomas Burnett, a direc­tor of the not-for-profit Sal­is­bury Com­mu­nity En­ergy, 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.”

Glouces­ter Cathe­dral in­stalled so­lar pan­els on its roof in 2016.

In th­ese strange times the pos­si­bil­i­ties of liv­ing dif­fer­ently seem all the more im­por­tant and this

project even more sig­nif­i­cant RT REV NI­CHOLAS HOLTAM, BISHOP OF SAL­IS­BURY

Pic­tures: An­drew Matthews

From left to right, James Page, of Joju So­lar, Robert Tit­ley, Canon trea­surer of Sal­is­bury Cathe­dral, the Rt Rev Ni­cholas Holtam, Bishop of Sal­is­bury, Thomas Burnett, a direc­tor of Sal­is­bury Com­mu­nity En­ergy, and Laura Moreno, of Joju So­lar, on the roof of Sal­is­bury Cathe­dral’s south clois­ter

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