After two long years of waiting, the city of London is now a proud owner of the world’s largest solar bridge. The massive construction located at the Blackfriars station is equipped with 4,400 photovoltaic panels, providing half of the energy required to operate all services there.
The solar panels, together with the electric trains that run through the station, are not only going to reduce the carbon footprint of the station, but they will also serve as a symbol of what a sustainable city should look like.
The project was executed by Network Rail, with partnership of Solarcentury, who was responsible for installing the panels, while trying not to interfere with commuting times during London 2012 Olympics. Thanks to careful planning, and strict organization, however, the specialists managed to complete the task in time despite heavy traffic, safety standards and restrictions. The panels are expected to contribute to reduction in carbon emissions by 511 tonnes annually.
The routes that run through the solar bridge provide a connection for the citizens from southeast England with central London, making the Blackfriars station one of the busiest locations in the city. Of course, having the bridge at such a central spot, allows people to admire it and hopefully it makes them realize how important sustainable living and green energy are.
Besides raising awareness and encouraging local people and tourists to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle, the developers hope to inspire other major infrastructure developers to include renewable energy into their projects. And who knows, maybe soon most stations in the big city will be completely powered by renewables?!
Image (c) Network Rail