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This Spanish city plans to turn its cemeteries into the country’s largest urban solar farm

The project has been dubbed RIP, standing for Requiem in Power.
The project has been dubbed RIP, standing for Requiem in Power. Copyright Moritz Kindler
Copyright Moritz Kindler
By Rebecca Ann Hughes
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The project has been dubbed RIP, standing for Requiem in Power.

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A city in Spain is starting to use its cemeteries to generate renewable power. 

Valencia, on the east coast, aims to install thousands of solar panels in graveyards around the city. 

The project has been dubbed RIP - standing for Requiem in Power - and was launched this month with the first photovoltaic panels installed. 

The city intends the ambitious initiative to become the largest urban solar farm in Spain. 

Valencia to create the largest urban solar farm in Spain

The city of Valencia plans to install 6,658 solar panels in local cemeteries. Some 810 have already been laid down in Grau, Campanar and Benimàmet cemeteries. 

These will generate a total power supply of more than 440,000 kilowatts per year. 

It will also result in over 140 tons a year of carbon dioxide savings, according to the local council.

The energy will mostly be used to power municipal buildings, but 25 per cent will also go to 1,000 vulnerable households. 

Alejandro Ramon, Valencia’s Councilor for Climate Emergency and Energy Transition, has also said the project will become the largest urban solar farm in the country. 

RIP is part of the wider Valencia 2030 Climate Mission, one of the key reasons the city was selected to be the 2024 European Green Capital. 

The long-term aim of the Climate Missions is to generate 27 per cent of energy for the city from renewable sources. 

100 per cent of this clean energy production will be incorporated into infrastructure and public buildings by 2030. The city will also only use LEDs for public lighting. 

Using cemeteries to produce renewable energy

Cemeteries are ideal candidates for a solar panel project. These urban spaces can be harnessed for the production of clean energy without changing their original purpose - just like when roofs are used as sites for photovoltaic panels.  

This is not the first time a council has had the idea to enlist cemeteries in the push for green energy. 

Saint-Joachim is a cluster of islands located in the middle of the Brière marsh - a vast peat bog north of the Loire estuary in France.

Its graveyard is located to the east of the town’s main island, a drop from six to zero metres above sea level.

By 2025, a 1.3-megawatt solar canopy will cover the cemetery and supply electricity to the commune’s 4,000 residents.

For an entry fee of just €5, they will eventually have a share in the energy it produces.

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The structure will also collect rainwater for an adjacent sports complex, which will help reduce flooding.

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