The Sun Shines On The Righteous

Leading designers and installers of solar power systems, Becosolar has recently installed a photovoltaic energy system at St. Denys’ Church in Sleaford as part of the Church of England’s ‘Shrinking the Footprint’ campaign to reduce carbon footprint by 40% through the introduction of renewable technologies within church buildings.

The project is the largest solar PV installation on a grade 1 listed building in the country and shows how renewable energy systems can work efficiently and sympathetically within architecturally important buildings.  The system was blessed by the Bishop of Lincoln and was even featured on ‘Songs of Praise’.

Targets set by the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches and English Heritage meant that any damage to the ancient fabric of the building or its visual appearance had to be avoided. As the building is Grade 1 listed, a system of attaching the panels without drilling into the medieval masonry was needed. Newly designed Solstice lead roll clamps offered the most reliable way of attaching the lightweight frame for the panels to the south aisle roof and a new oak framed window was installed in the tower with a built-in cable duct to allow the power cables through to the inverters situated in the clock tower.

Working alongside Freewatt Ltd, Becosolar installed 54 Sharp 180W monocrystalline modules, three Fronius IG30 inverters and a large display showing the units of energy produced and the CO2 emissions saved since the system was connected. The 9.72kWp system will produce in the region of 8750kWh of electricity, saving over 5 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum and has a guaranteed life expectancy of 25 years.

Commenting on the project, Richard Clash, Church Warden at St.Denys’ said, “We specified Becosolar for the project as they knew what they were talking about and have over 20 years experience in solar systems. The literature that they presented us with was easy to read and understand and answered all our questions.” He continued, “ As we do not have a battery to store the energy generated we still use electricity from the grid at night however since installing the system we have seen a significant reduction in electricity bills as the system provides electricity during daylight hours.”

A 50% grant available through the governments Low Carbon Buildings Programme as well as a contribution from the BIG Lottery’s Community Sustainable Energy Programme covering 45% of the costs, meant that substantial savings on the cost of the installation of the system were made.

The church will also now be able to benefit from the government feed-in-tariff scheme which proposes that anyone who generates electricity will be eligible to claim a Feed-in Tariff from their energy supplier for all units of electricity produced.

With over 20 years experience designing and installing photovoltaic solar energy systems, Becosolar are one of the UK’s longest established solar energy solutions providers, specialising in PV systems for industrial, commercial, marine and domestic applications.

There are currently no comments for this article.

Login to comment. slider