Portsmouth Cathedral has teamed up with Portsmouth City Council's energy services team to put a 6.6kW solar array on Cathedral House in St Thomas's Street, Old Portsmouth.
The 24 panel array, which will generate approximately 5700kWh per annum of renewable electricity, has been installed by Portsmouth based company Space Renewables run by Stephen Jackson, and project managed by Portsmouth City Council's energy team as part of their wider PV initiative.
In 2014 Portsmouth City Council rolled out their Solar PV install programme, the aim was to reduce bills for schools, community associations and other organisations; providing cheaper, sustainable green energy, and as a bonus, generating income back into the city that can be used to support services.
Cathedral House is a multi-use building serving both Cathedral and community activities and the solar array will supply power to the music/song rooms, administrative offices and chorister residential accommodation - typically reducing their grid consumption by 30%.
"We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work both with PCC's very experienced PV team and a local SME on this project,” Canon Chancellor Peter Leonard, “the solar array will not only provide Cathedral House with affordable clean energy but also help us towards our EcoChurch carbon reduction goal of 6% per annum.”
Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr Jeanette Smith said "It's wonderful to see more and more organisations become involved with our Solar PV scheme, not only is it providing the Cathedral with sustainable green energy and lowering their carbon footprint, but it's reducing their electricity bills and helping to bring money back into public services. I really hope other local organisations see the Cathedral as leading the way and follow suit to become greener and more energy conscious."
Portsmouth City Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Darren Sanders said "The energy services team have been busily installing Solar PV on buildings within the city since 2014; much of it on PCC's social housing portfolio, as part of a local investment strategy and to lower the Council's carbon emissions. The investments are really paying off, with almost £1million income to the authority since we began the rollout. It's great to see other organisations looking to solar as a way to save money and generate an income, whilst using the skills and experience of the PCC team to deliver the installations."
The solar array is one of a number of projects the Cathedral has been carrying out since 2015 in order to reduce its energy carbon footprint.
“There is clearly great potential for solar PV for church community/administrative buildings and schools, not only providing clean affordable onsite power but also assisting the educational curriculum for future generations of young people,” said Canon Peter, “we do hope that central government will find a way of putting in place a mechanism post March 2019 to continue stimulating this important contribution to the UK's carbon reduction goals and climate change agenda."
As a member of the EcoChurch initiative, Portsmouth Cathedral was one of five cathedrals nationwide to be presented with a Bronze award in 2016 by the new Eco Church scheme, in recognition of contribution and support of the Church of England 'Shrinking the Footprint' campaign.