The St. Michael and All Angels Church in Withington England has undergone a thorough green renovation and now has a biomass boiler for heat, and a solar array on the roof. The 12th century building is now believed to be the first church in England to be powered entirely by renewable energies.
The 24 solar modules were supplied by Kyocera Corporation, a Japanese firm, and have a total output of 3.12kw. The panels are installed on the roof of the church.They company says that the modules were carefully installed to meet strict regulations concerning historical buildings by using a special ladder system that did not adversely affect the structure of the building or its visual appearance.
Many churches in England were traditionally built so that the people in in it were facing east This means they have plenty of south-facing roof space that is ideal for placing solar panels. Green energy provider Ecotricty says that more than 100 church buildings in the South west of England have already benefitted from the High Court decision to extend the Feed-in-Tariff window for solar panels. With 16,000 church buildings throughout the UK, parishes are being urged to reduce their carbon footprint by making greener purchasing choices, in line with the Church of England’s national campaign – ‘Shrinking the Footprint’ – with a target of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.
The Church hopes that this pioneering project will serve as a reference project for the sustainable renovation of other historical buildings across the country.