York Minster is to install solar panels on its Refectory roof – a historic first.
This signals the first time that solar tiles have been installed on a listed building in the city and follows extensive consultations between York Minster, City of York Council and Historic England.
The tiles will go on 2 Deangate – what was the Minster School before it was closed in 2020.
This is being turned into the Refectory café, the first major project in the recently adopted York Minster Neighbourhood Plan.
Work is underway on the transformation, with the café due to open in 2023.
The solar tiles will produce about 10,000 kilowatt-hours of power every year and will support the Minster’s ambitions to achieve operational net zero carbon.
A ceremony was held on the Refectory roof to mark the installation, including a dedication by the acting Dean, Canon Michael Smith.
Minster director of works Alex McCallion said: “As with our recently ratified Neighbourhood Plan, York Minster is leading the way and setting a new precedent for other heritage organisations to follow.
“Currently, the biggest external threat to the Minster’s future is climate change, brought about by extreme weather events.
“The Neighbourhood Plan sets a policy-led approach to how we are going to address this as we move towards a low carbon estate. The installation of these solar tiles is an important milestone in delivering that pledge.”
Rvd Canon Michael Smith, acting Dean of York Minster, said: “We are very excited to have installed these new solar tiles, which signify a first not just for the Minster, but for the wider city.”