Bradford Cathedral has become the first cathedral in the UK to generate its own electricity from the sun, thanks to a solar system installed by Cumbria-based solar specialists, Sundog Energy.

First of all, the Cathedral required permission from the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, the English Heritage as well as planning permission from Bradford Council.

After the relevant bodies were satisfied that the proposed 42 Trina Solar modules would not dramatically affect the aesthetics of the council, work begun on-site.

Revd Canon Andrew Williams, Canon Pastor at Bradford Cathedral, commented: “As the person driving the project forward from this end I wanted to express our total satisfaction with the professional manner in which Sundog Energy undertook this installation. As this was a pioneer project (with no other cathedrals having installed PV) the preparations had to be thorough. This meant a wide gap between the original quotation and commissioning the work, but your company agreed to honour the quotation.

“The team who installed the system was thoroughly professional in their approach; they were patient, cooperative and flexible, willing to have their work interrupted by the arrival of newspaper and TV reporters. I would like to pay special tribute to the site manager for Sundog Energy. He was courteous, efficient and totally professional at all times and ensured that the installation was completed on time, as promised.

“I know that this particular project has generated considerable interest; indeed, we are getting regular requests for advice from churches and individuals. I am always happy to name our suppliers and believe that Sundog has had several approaches following the publicity here. When we initiated this project we knew it was essential to select a contractor with a sound track record, whose experience and expertise we could trust; we are delighted that this trust has been vindicated.”

The 9.9kWp array is expected to help save the cathedral thousands of pounds a year off its electricity bill as well as dramatically reducing its carbon emissions.

Sundog Energy is no stranger to landmark solar installations and will be showcasing its other solar installations at this year's Solar Power UK exhibition at booth P53.