York Minster plan for solar panels as energy bills triple




  • In Science
  • 2022-11-18 17:58:14Z
  • By BBC
York Minster
York Minster  

Solar panels could be installed on the roof of York Minster for the first time in a bid to tackle rising energy bills.

The cathedral's gas and electricity costs are expected to triple next year, a Minster spokesperson said.

Plans to install 199 solar panels on the roof of the South Quire Aisle have been submitted to York Council.

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said the Minster was "committed to taking a lead on addressing the climate emergency."

The project is part of plans for York Minster to become carbon net zero.

"The message from COP27 is that everyone has a role to play in effectively implementing the ambitious climate action required to meet the urgent needs of the planet," the archbishop said.

Energy bills to power the Minster and its surrounding buildings are estimated to triple in 2023.

The solar panels would be visible from ground level but would not diminish the cathedral's architecture or heritage, a spokesperson said.

They would be placed on the roof of the South Quire Aisle, which dates back to 1362 but was renewed after a fire in 1829.

'Guiding example'

The solar panels would generate 75,000 kilowatt-hours of power a year, which would provide energy for the cathedral's evening services and events.

A panel would be installed inside the Minster to display the amount of energy the solar panels have produced and the level of carbon emissions saved.

Solar panels were installed on the roof of the Minster Refectory, a building within the cathedral precincts, in July and they are already generating 11,000 kilowatt-hours of power a year.

The Dean of York, the Very Reverend Dominic Barrington, said the Minster was "not only making positive improvements to the cathedral for both its benefit and that of the city, but is also setting a guiding example for others to follow in how heritage estates address climate change".

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