Solar panels installed on the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle

Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle as part of measures to reduce carbon emissions.

They were placed on the building as part of Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) ongoing program to reduce energy consumption in the historic properties under its care.

The renewable energy generated by the new solar panels is expected to reach around 26,500 kWh per year, which equates to around 6,680 kg of CO2.

It is expected that this will more than offset the electricity consumption of the war memorial building, and any additional energy generated will be used elsewhere on the castle site.

The signs are not visible from anywhere else in the city (Historic Environment Scotland/PA)

The signs are not visible from any vantage point of the site or the city as the memorial sits atop Castle Rock and has a high parapet.

David Mitchell, Director of Conservation at HES, said: “As a major player under the Climate Change Act 2009, we have a responsibility to lead by example in reducing our carbon emissions and developing innovative approaches to promote sustainability.

“The installation of solar panels on one of Scotland‘s most iconic historic sites is another step forward in our efforts to significantly reduce the carbon we generate on our estate.

“Edinburgh Castle accounts for 26% of our total carbon emissions and 18% of the total electricity consumption in the properties we manage. It is therefore essential that we look for ways to reduce this.

“It was crucial that the design plans take into consideration the historical, cultural and emotional significance of the War Memorial, involving close collaboration with the administrators.

“The final plans for the installation of these panels have been sensitively designed to take into account the historic fabric of the building and the wider views from the War Memorial and Edinburgh Castle itself to the city and surrounding area.

“By initiating projects such as this, we can demonstrate that historic buildings are part of the solution to reducing emissions and helping Scotland reach net zero.”

Solar panels
HES has pledged to be net zero by 2045 (Historic Environment Scotland/PA)

HES said the panels will help bolster carbon reduction efforts at Edinburgh Castle where, in the 10 years to 2018/19, there was a 29% reduction in energy use and 46% of associated carbon emissions.

Opened in July 1927, the memorial houses and displays the rolls of honor of Scottish Servicemen from all Armed Services, Dominions, Merchant Navy, Women’s Services, Nursing Services and Civilian Casualties of all the Wars from 1914 nowadays.

HES said the design of the panel installation sensitively considered both the cultural significance of the monument and its historical fabric.

Prior to commencing work, HES engaged with a range of stakeholders through the planning process, including working closely with the administrators who manage the building.

The work was funded by Scottish Enterprise and the installation was carried out by AES Solar.

HES said it is committed to becoming net zero by 2045, in line with Scottish Government targets, by halving its annual emissions over the next 10 years and beyond.