Sussex monks invest in solar energy to power their monastery

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Carthusian monks at St Hugh’s Charterhouse in Parkminster, West Sussex, have made a significant commitment to green energy by investing in 500 PV panels to power their 240 hectare site with free, clean, and silent solar energy.

The move could lead to a carbon saving of an enormous 2,307 tonnes of CO2 over a 20 year period.

There are 26 monks living at St Hugh’s – the only post-Reformation Carthusian monastery in the UK. They commit to a life of solitude, spending much of their day praying, reading and chanting. They also support the community by cooking, gardening and working in the monastery’s library.

Parkminster is a place of incredible beauty and serenity, the perfect setting for a simple life of prayer and worship, and the Carthusians have long shown a commitment to the natural environment by growing their own food and following sustainable practices.

As well as installing 500 solar panels, the community is also investing in a battery which will store any excess electricity that can be used when the panels are not generating power.

The organisation helping the monks, OHM Energy, is one the South Coast’s most experienced renewable energy consultants.

Brother Hesychios, a monk at St Hugh’s, explains:

“Initially, when beginning this process we were complete beginners, so we were hoping to be able to rely on a solar panel installer who had the ability to put themselves in the shoes – or sandals as the case may be – of the novice solar panel user to be able to explain to us in laymans terms step-by-step the process involved. I am very glad to say that the OHM team did this.”

Jason Lindfield, Director at OHM Energy Solutions, says the system will pay for itself in under seven years:

“The new system is not only silent but will transform operations, helping St Hugh’s financially as well as environmentally. The projected energy yield is 231,650 kWh with an annual saving of £27,196.

“At current energy prices, the entire system should pay for itself within 6 years and 7 months, which makes a very sustainable investment for the community.”


Visit the website for the monks at St Hugh’s Charterhouse.


Main image of St Hugh’s is © St Hugh’s Charterhouse. The image of the solar panels is © OHM Energy Solutions.