Holy solar installation recognised

Solar panel installers Mypower was recognised for its solar installation at Gloucester Cathedral at the coveted British Renewable Energy Awards.

Mypower’s project, installing 150 solar panels on the roof of the 1,000 year old grade 1 listed Gloucester Cathedral, was considered by the esteemed panel of judges to be the best building mounted Renewable Energy Project (of any renewable technology type) in the UK.

Mypower were highly commended and finished runners up in the overall project category, to the largest solar park installation in the country, covering some 220 acres of land. They also fought off competition from businesses covering all other renewable energy sources including: hydro, wind, heat pumps and biomass.

The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester, who switched on Gloucester Cathedral’s new solar panels for the first time, said: “It’s actually an incredible installation, it’s so well done by Mypower. It’s a work of art when you can see it and of course when people do in time go up one of the tower tours, that’s the only place they’ll be able to see the solar panels from.”

Last year, Gloucester Cathedral became the oldest cathedral in the world to have a solar panel system of this size installed. The project was a resounding success from start to finish and the solar panels are producing even more electricity than first projected – exceeding expectations by over 20%.

The 150 solar PV panels will generate 27,500 kW of energy a year, enough to power seven semi-detached houses or make 250,000 cups of tea per year in the Cathedral’s busy Café. Energy costs will be reduced by 25 percent, saving £190,000 over the next twenty five years. The solar will provide 16 tonnes of CO2 savings per year, the equivalent of planting 3.5 acres of woodland per annum.

Ben Harrison, who heads up Gloucestershire-based Mypower, said. “I’m very proud of what we have achieved at Gloucester Cathedral and being recognised at the awards is the icing on the cake. To be narrowly beaten by the largest ground installation in the UK, 2,000 times bigger than our project is some achievement for a small business like ours.

“Whilst it is our name on the award, it really should be for the whole project team at Gloucester Cathedral, the Heritage Lottery Fund, all those who sponsored a solar panel and everyone else who played their part in creating history, especially the Cathedral Architect, Antony Feltham-King of St Ann’s Gate Architects who spent almost 5 years on the project.”

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