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Cathedral invests £25,000 in solar

by Michael Ford last modified 18 Dec, 2019 05:17 PM

The Dean and Chapter, Salisbury Cathedral’s governing body, are participating in a renewable energy project by investing £25K in a local community energy share offer.

Salisbury’s first ever community share offer, launched last month by Salisbury Community Energy (SCE), needs to raise £227K from local investors to install solar panels on 7 sites, including the Cathedral Cloisters.

This comprises part of a major solar share offer being run on a national basis by SCE’s partner, Schools’ Energy Co-op.

The Cathedral investment decision is a major boost and support to the community share-raise effort and is part of the Cathedral’s ongoing commitment to environmental change.

The Very Revd Nicholas Papapdopulos, Dean of Salisbury said:

“Christians are called to protect and enhance the delicate ecology of God’s wonderful world. Developing and expanding our capacity to create renewable energy is vital for our common future. Salisbury Cathedral is proud to invest in a local initiative which we hope will yield a global harvest.”

Canon Robert Titley, Cathedral Treasurer and environmental lead, said:

“As our climate moves into crisis we are striving to make our Cathedral part of the change we all must make. We have achieved the Silver Eco Church awards last year, but we must do more. This investment shows our commitment to that change.”

The Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury said:

“Salisbury is a traditional and an innovative city. We need transformative change to move quickly towards a Net Zero carbon future. What an opportunity investment in these solar panels gives to combine renewable energy with the cathedral. It is the right thing to do.”

Mike Smyth of Schools’ Energy Co-op, and Alison Craig, of Salisbury Community Energy say:

“We are delighted by this vote of confidence from the Cathedral. We hope others will feel inspired to follow their example and will invest in Salisbury’s zero carbon future.”

The sites to be installed, subject to permissions and consents, are Amesbury Primary School, Bishop Wordsworth School, Cathedral Cloisters, KONG (High Post, already installed), Riverbourne Community Farm, St Martin’s Primary School (already installed) and Wiltshire College, Salisbury.

Schools’ Energy Co-op is an award-winning, successful, ethical, community-based social enterprise. It was voted ‘Most Inspirational Co-op of the Year’ by Co-operatives UK this year, the first time a community energy group has received this award.

It has previously raised nearly £2,250,000 from four other share offers, invested that money in installing solar panels on schools and paid interest to its members on their investment. It launched in August 2014 and has already generated more than 4.5GWh of renewable electricity.

Schools’ Energy Co-op has already installed solar panels on 61 schools and a children’s hospice.

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