Hull's Holy Trinity Church to get solar panels
ONE of the North's grandest churches will become the first in East Yorkshire to have solar panels fitted for electricity generation.
The roof of Holy Trinity Church in Hull will be fitted with photovoltaic panels.
The aim is to produce electricity, raise money and help the environment at England's largest parish church.
Work to fit 66 panels, each one square metre, will begin on Monday.
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The Reverend Dr Neal Barnes, vicar of Holy Trinity, said: "It's great news that we're able to install these photovoltaic panels. They'll help us reduce our carbon footprint by producing electricity from solar power. "They'll save us money and help us do our bit to care for the environment."
Beverley Minster began looking into a proposal to put panels on its roof last year but none have been fitted.
Just as Holy Trinity will be able to, the Beverley church hoped to take advantage of generous feed-in tariff rates, whereby electricity generated through solar can be sold to the national grid.
Holy Trinity had a benefactor to help with the cost.
Mr Barnes said: "Overall, the project will cost us about £75,000. We've only been able to afford the photovoltaic panels because a local businessman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has very kindly donated most of the money needed.
"The rest of the cost has been made up by a £6,000 grant from the Church Buildings Council of the Church of England.
"We estimate the panels will generate about £6,500 per annum – our annual electricity bill is about £3,500, so this will offset our bills and leave us with some money to spend on the upkeep of the church."
Another advantage Holy Trinity has over the minster is that the panels will be invisible from the ground. It means the church can make its contribution to the environment.
Mr Barnes said: "If the Siemens wind turbine factory does get the final go-ahead in the autumn, Hull will be a major hub of renewable energy in the UK, and I'm glad Holy Trinity Church can do its bit.
"The beauty of the scheme is that the photovoltaic panels will not impact how the church looks.
"Holy Trinity's Nave and Chancel roofs slope at a very shallow angle and are bounded by low parapets. So the panels will be completely invisible from ground level, or even from most of the surrounding buildings.
"It's important for churches to help our environment."
It is estimated the work to fit the panels will take six working days.
Photovoltaic panels are different from normal solar panels. They generate electricity rather than heat water.