Date Project Started: 2009 Renewable Energy Type: Solar
Location: Islington, London
About The Project
14.84 kWp grid connected, solar PV integrated tile system
Saint Silas Church, CEN, Nu-Lok, Ashford & Cranbrook Roofing, Solar Technologies
It seems obvious that most traditional church layouts face East with the fortuitous consequence that one of the long sides of the nave is usually perfectly aligned facing South to maximise its ability to capture the energy of the sun.
St Silas Church is the first Grade 2 listed church in England to be fitted with integrated solar panels that are visible from the ground, asserting its place as the leading light for churches using renewable energy across the country. Father Shaun Richards the vicar of St Silas inaugurated the system in May 2010. The 14.84 kWp grid-connected system generates electricity from daylight for use in the church, with any surplus electricity being sold to the National Grid.
Making it happen
Creative Environmental Networks (CEN) conducted an initial site inspection and feasibility assessment then completed funding applications for the LCBP2 and Islington Climate Change fund. CEN was successful in securing 100% capital funding for the project and worked closely with St Silas to secure planning permission, an uphill struggle for a listed building, which was granted on the second attempt. The success of the project was reliant on the unique tiles that were designed to be a similar colour and size as those on the slate roof it replaced, making it possible for the church to be more environmentally friendly without altering the appearance of the roof.
Tackling climate change
The relatively large solar PV system is estimated to generate approximately 12,371kWh of electricity per year resulting in around 7,027kg of carbon dioxide emission savings each year. Part of St Silas' vision for the future is to grow their resources to serve children, the elderly and those in need through faith in God encouraging greater knowledge, love and care of the environment. More widely, the project is part of a move within the Diocese of London to make climate change a priority with the Diocese setting itself the target of reducing its emissions by 40% by 2020. St Silas is a powerful example of how churches can take the lead on climate change. To this end CEN is working with St Silas to publicise the system explaining solar power to the wider community.
Saving £4000 in bills
The church will save £4,000 in energy bills that would otherwise be used for its good works. So this makes good sense
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