St Robert Bellarmine’s Parish Church in Glasgow has become the third church in the Archdiocese of Glasgow to install solar PV in order to combat rising energy bills as well cut down their utility bills.

Renewable energy installer, Absolute Solar and Wind, designed and installed the 120-module system, which is thought to be the largest church solar panel system in Scotland.

The church’s new solar system is expected to generate 20,500kWh of green electricity every year, allowing the church to benefit from a combined benefit of £3,800 every year. St.Robert’s is expected to generate around £95,000 over the next 25 years, saving 216 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere in the process.

Johann Lamont, Scottish Labour Leader and MSP for Glasgow Pollok, said: “It would like to congratulate St Robert Bellarmine’s on this forward-thinking and innovative measure to reduce the area’s carbon footprint and bring down energy costs in the church.

“This is now the third church in the Archdiocese of Glasgow to use solar power technology to bring down costs and sets a great example for other organisations and businesses in the community.”

Archbishop Mario Conti said: “I am delighted to see this scheme get up and running. It is a case of new technology being harnessed both to help the environment and also to support the local community who will benefit from a warmer, drier church building, and some new income which will be used for an array of parish projects.”

Father Neil McGarrity, Parish priest at St Robert Bellarmine added: “The parishioners have been very supportive of the plans, which they see as being to the short term and long term benefit of the whole community. The process has been well managed and inconvenience has been minimal. I would recommend it to others who may be considering it.”

Mark Newall, Managing Director of Absolute, said: “This is the latest in a series of very innovative and forward-thinking projects we have carried out for the Glasgow Archdiocese. Renewable energy is an ideal solution for the church, allowing it to save energy on its traditionally high heating bills and make an ethical contribution to the environment at the same time.

“Solar panel systems like the one on the church offer a better rate of return for both personal and business energy users than most other investment in the current climate, and we’re seeing uptake increase all the time as customers realise the wide range of benefits.”