500 year-old Cathedral to become oldest building with solar panels

Up to 200 solar panels are set to be placed on Gloucester Cathedral's roof as part of a £6m renovation project.

The Project Pilgrim team says Gloucester Cathedral will become the oldest church building in England to have this technology installed, with the panels designed to be non-reflective, black and not visible from the ground.

Most of the £100,000 to cost of the panels has been raised via a public appeal, which has so far reached 90% of the goal, with the project team stating that they will reduce energy costs by 25% a year by producing between 28 and 30 MWh annually once the solar panels are installed.

Preparation work will need to be done ahead of the installation on the Nave of the Cathedral roof which is about 50 years old, with Project Pilgrim manager Anne Cranston claiming that the system will include more than 100 panels but less than 200, depending on the panels’ size.

"We need to slightly change the shape of the ridge, repair some of the lead work, and we need to do some repairs of the guttering,” she said.

"Then we need to make sure that the frame [on the roof] can pin the panels down properly so they don't blow away in wind and then there's getting the cabling down into the main cathedral.”

It is anticipated that Project Pilgrim will be completed in 10 years time.

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