Sending The Solar Industry To The Graveyard  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

One of the benefits of solar PV is that you can find convenient locations to install panels throughout urban areas. While most people tend to think of the tops of buildings as the obvious location, those sun loving Spaniards have come up with a new idea - using the roof's of mausoleums in graveyards - Solar panels on graves give power to Spanish town.

A new kind of silent hero has joined the fight against climate change.

Santa Coloma de Gramenet, a gritty, working-class town outside Barcelona, has placed a sea of solar panels atop mausoleums at its cemetery, transforming a place of perpetual rest into one buzzing with renewable energy.

Flat, open and sun-drenched land is so scarce in Santa Coloma that the graveyard was just about the only viable spot to move ahead with its solar energy program.

The power the 462 panels produces - equivalent to the yearly use by 60 homes - flows into the local energy grid for normal consumption and is one community's odd nod to the fight against global warming.

"The best tribute we can pay to our ancestors, whatever your religion may be, is to generate clean energy for new generations. That is our leitmotif," said Esteve Serret, director Conste-Live Energy, a Spanish company that runs the cemetery in Santa Coloma and also works in renewable energy.

In row after row of gleaming, blue-gray, the panels rest on mausoleums holding five layers of coffins, many of them marked with bouquets of fake flowers. The panels face almost due south, which is good for soaking up sunshine, and started working on Wednesday - the culmination of a project that began three years ago.

The concept emerged as a way to utilize an ideal stretch of land in a town that wants solar energy but is so densely built-up - Santa Coloma's population of 124,000 is crammed into four square kilometers (1.5 square miles) - it had virtually no place to generate it.

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