A mock-up to show how the panels will be installed on top of the blocks of niches. / sur

Malaga council to install solar panels on top of niches in cemetery

The 45 panels will provide a saving on energy costs of 90,000 euros a year and will not be visible from ground level

PILAR R QUIRÓS Malaga

At a time when much of the world is afflicted by the energy crisis and European governments are on tenterhooks at the possibility of Putin cutting off the supply of gas this winter, Malaga city council has decided to add its grain of sand to the need to save energy and is installing solar panels on top of some of the blocks of niches at the San Gabriel cemetery.

The panels will be fitted to 38 of the 212 blocks. Each production unit will have forty-five 335-watt panels, arranged in three rows. Unlike the more common solar panels, which slope at an angle, these will be flat and will therefore not be visible from ground level.

Eighty per cent of the project is being financed by EU Feder funds, and the council says the overall aim is to combat climate change and global warming, reduce CO2 emissions and produce renewable electricity.

The council has awarded the 670,000 euro contract to Veolia Servicios Lecam S.A.U. The panels are expected to provide all the electricity needed for lighting in the cemetery and the surplus will be sold to the grid. Technicians say the project will save around 90,000 euros a year

When announcing the project, Malaga's councillor for the Environment, Gema del Corral, said she is proud of the initiative, because it is yet another environmental improvement at the cemetery.

“Obtaining funding from the IDEA shows that this is a serious and important project. If we were to build a new, 21st century cemetery now, nobody would be in any doubt that it would be as sustainable as possible,” she said.