Monday 13 March 2023

Will this be the UK’s first net zero cathedral?

Will this be the UK’s first net zero cathedral?

The City of York Council and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England have given the go-ahead to install photovoltaic panels on the roof of York Minster.

The cathedral of York, North Yorkshire, is considered one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe.

The installation of 199 solar panels on the South Quire Aisle, dating back to 1361, will generate 75,000kWh of power annually and surplus power will be stored in underground batteries to power evening services and events.

Additionally, a panel inside the Minster will display power production and carbon savings, promoting the importance of decarbonisation to visitors.

Authorities say that the decarbonisation project can play a significant role in helping Minster achieve its commitments to sustainability.

The Church of England aims to be net zero by 2030.

Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster, said: "This recent development is one of a number of Projects at York Minster which supports the Church of England's net zero ambition, with various cathedrals including Bradford and Chester having already received permissions to install solar panels to generate their own power.

"As the largest cathedral to date to do so, York Minster seeks to set an example for even more to follow through our recently adopted Neighbourhood Plan. The message from COP27 was very clear: We must act now if we have any chance of addressing the climate emergency.

"Through extensive consultation with Historic England and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, we have ensured that the panels will be sensitive to the historic architecture of the Minster and its Precinct.

"Visible only through glimpse views at ground level, they will not impact the cathedral's architectural or heritage values, but will in fact play a significant role in ensuring the preservation of this beloved monument for future generations to enjoy as we do today."

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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