UK cathedral to install solar, storage system


The city of York, England, has approved plans to install solar panels on the roof of York Minster, the second-largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.

“Now that we have the consent, we will start to prepare a tender document with detailed specifications,” a York Minster spokesperson told pv magazine. “We will then be able to proceed to procurement and in due course appoint a contractor to do the installation.”

The spokesperson noted that the process will take a few months. The 199 solar panels will be placed on the roof of the South Quire Aisle, originally dating back to 1361, and are expected to generate a minimum of 75,000 kWh of power per year.

Churches mostly use energy during the day, which makes them ideal buildings for solar panels. York Minster will also install a storage system to maximize self-consumption in the evenings.

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“As well as contributing to meeting daytime power demand, surplus power generated by the panels will be stored in underground batteries and used to power the cathedral’s evening services and events,” York Minster said in a statement.

UK researchers recently launched a feasibility study to assess the economic viability of rooftop solar arrays on Bath Abbey, another UK cathedral. They said that solar projects on historical buildings might require high upfront investments, but their profitability can be ensured by proper project design.

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