Graveyards a favorite haunt for solar farms in Valencia

Because the dead don't really need all this space to themselves, surely?

In a move likely to leave both the living and the dearly departed feeling a bit sunnier, the Spanish city of Valencia is turning its cemeteries into bustling hubs of renewable energy.

Aptly dubbed RIP (Requiem in Power), the initiative is set to transform graveyards into solar powerhouses, generating clean energy while giving a whole new meaning to resting in peace.

Valencia, famed for paella and now potentially its eco-conscious ghosts, has already installed the first batch of photovoltaic panels in three cemeteries. By the time the project is completed, 6,658 solar panels will be gently basking in the Spanish sun.

According to Euronews, that hardware ought to be enough to power municipal buildings and provide a quarter of the energy to 1,000 vulnerable households.

That said, Euronews and other outlets report the panels will produce "more than 440,000 kilowatts per year," which isn't very clear. We're guessing that's either 440 MW on average from equipment operating over the course of 12 months, which would mean we're talking about some incredible 66 kW solar panels here, or 440 MWh in a year, which is just 7.5 watts generated per panel.

In any case, Alejandro Ramon, Valencia's Councilor for Climate Emergency and Energy Transition, claims the project is Spain's largest urban solar farm.

The eco-friendly endeavor is part of the Valencia 2030 Climate Mission, which aims to get 27 percent of the city's energy from renewable sources. By 2030, every watt of this green energy will be used to power public infrastructure, including a switch to 100 percent LED public lighting. It seems the spirits of Valencia are lighting the way both figuratively and literally.

Cemeteries, with their open spaces and perpetual calm, make ideal sites for solar panels. The RIP project harnesses these tranquil spaces without disturbing their original purpose. Instead of letting the Sun's rays go to waste, Valencia's graveyards will soon be bursting with energy – albeit the quiet, renewable kind.

This isn't the first time cemeteries have been drafted into the green energy revolution. Saint-Joachim, a cluster of islands in France's Brière marsh, is also installing a solar canopy over its cemetery. By 2025, this project will generate 1.3 megawatts of power and provide electricity to the commune's 4,000 residents.

For just €5, locals in Valencia can own a share of this ghostly energy, proving that even in death, there's potential for community profit and sustainability. ®

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