Edinburgh Castle has unveiled its newly installed solar panels, part of Historic Environment Scotland’s efforts to reduce energy use across the historic properties in its care.
The solar panels have been installed on the roof of the Scottish National War Memorial. Due to the War Memorial’s elevated and open location at the summit of Castle rock, as well as its surrounding high parapet, the panels are not visible from any other vantage point within the site or surrounding areas.
The installation design has also sensitively taken into account both the cultural significance of the monument and its historic fabric. Prior to commencing the works, Historic Environment Scotland engaged with range of stakeholders as part of the planning process, including working closely with the trustees who manage the building.
The renewable energy generated by the new solar panels is projected to reach approximately 26,500 kWh per year, equivalent to around 6,680kg of CO2. It is expected that this will more than offset the electrical consumption of the War Memorial building, with any additional energy generated being used elsewhere within the site. This will help further the significant carbon reduction efforts at Edinburgh Castle in recent years, which have achieved a 29% reduction in energy consumption and 46% decrease in associated carbon emissions at the site before the Covid pandemic.
“The installation of solar panels at one of Scotland’s most iconic historic sites is another step forward in our efforts to significantly reduce the carbon we generate across our estate,” says David Mitchell, Director of Conservation at Historic Environment Scotland. “Edinburgh Castle accounts for 26% of our total carbon emissions and 18% of total electrical consumption across the properties in our care, making it critical that we investigate ways to reduce this.
“By pioneering schemes such as this, we can demonstrate that historic buildings are part of the solution to reducing emissions and helping Scotland reach net-zero.”
Top Image: Photo courtesy Historic Environment Scotland