New rooftop with integrated solar panels generate green electricity

Our project has undeniably aroused a great deal of interest. Many people have contacted us to ask that the roofing material actually is simply because they see it as attractive Lars Redegard

Kinds diocese, Sweden

Situated on the border between the counties of Västra Götaland, Jönköping and Halland, Kinds diocese comprises 30 churches and 120 buildings.

The Swedish Kinds diocese has installed ‘BuildingApplied Photovoltaics’ (BAPV) supplied by Solar. As well as generating electricity, the solar panels also serve as roof tiles.

A while ago, the diocese identified the need to replace the roof of the church hall in the parish of Kalv. Instead of opting for the usual concrete roof tiles, it was decided to take an innovative and green approach.

"As part of this project, we wanted to explore our options for installing rooftop solar panels. The aim being to generate energy as opposed to just using it. Investing in solar energy also benefits society and shows that the Church of Sweden is proactive," says Lars Redegard, Property Manager for Kinds diocese.

Lars Redegard and Kinds diocese initiated a feasibility study to determine whether installing solar panels was a realistic option, what the cost might be and the return on the investment over time. The feasibility study produced a positive outcome and it was decided to integrate solar panels (Building-Applied Photovoltaics, BAPV). As well as generating electricity, the solar panels also serve as roof tiles.

"BAPV is an aesthetic solution as this is a good deal more attractive than solar panel add-ons over existing roofing. Plus, as I see it, not having other roofing under the solar panels is a huge advantage. In my opinion, fitting solar panels over an old roof is chasing your tail because you're still going to have to maintain the conventional roof underneath," Lars Redegard explains.

Installing solar panels that look like conventional roof shingles or other roofing material does away with the notion that solar panels make a building less aesthetically appealing. Not surprisingly, demand for building-integrated and building-applied solar panels has seen a sharp increase in recent years. Lars Redegard, originally an architect himself, is also pleased with the result:

"Our project has undeniably aroused a great deal of interest. Many people have contacted us to ask what the roofing material actually is simply because they see it as attractive. And I'm with them on that", Lars Redegard says.

The next move is to decide if any of the other 120 properties in Kinds diocese are to be retrofitted with building-applied photovoltaics. The district churches are particularly suitable for solar panels as they generally have wide roofs facing south, which is ideal for generating solar power. The diocese is currently looking into this.