UK: Coventry is the first cathedral to sign up to solar

Coventry Cathedral is suitable for a photovoltaic installation because it is a relatively new building. An older cathedral on the site was largely destroyed in 1940 by the Luftwaffe and a new cathedral built on the site. HM The Queen laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction in 1956.

"We are fortunate in Coventry because many cathedrals have quite steep pitched roofs behind shady parapets whereas ours is fairly flat," explained the Cathedral’s Executive Director Jane Woodward. "It would make us the first in the country to do it and possible the first in the world," she continued in a statement.

EOS Energy is set to install the array using 178 panels over 200 square meters. The plans are for an electronic display to be established in the cathedral to illustrate to visitors how much energy is being generated.

The initiative is not purely financially motivated, said Woodward. "It’s not just about saving money on our energy bills, we are committed to the idea of renewable energy and climate protection." The cathedral community has also launched a solar roof club, encouraging congregations across Coventry to install photovoltaic installations to their homes, churches and church halls. The idea being that Christians could make a patchwork of solar installations across the city.

EOS Energy has established a partnership with the Cathedral and have already delivered their first commission payment on orders generated.

The 50kW cathedral array is set to be completed in time for HM The Queen’s visit to Coventry in 2012.