World’s largest solar bridge opens in London

by Dave Bullard
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The world’s largest solar bridge, opened at London Blackfriars train station last week, has 4,400 photovoltaic panels which span the River Thames and are set to produce 900,000 kWh of energy annually. That’s enough to provide 50 percent of the station’s energy or, in typically English fashion, “to make almost 80,000 cups of tea a day”.

The 1.1 MWp system also spells a reduction in CO2 emissions of an estimated 511 tonnes per year.

Network Rail began expanding across Blackfriars Bridge, built across the Thames in 1886, as part of a massive upgrade of Blackfriars station, and wanted to make the planned roof sustainable.

To this end, they asked Solarcentury to install over over 6,000 sq m of PV panels. The challenges, the company said, included multiple roofs and slopes, as well as working high up, over water and with live train lines all around.

Speaking at the launch reception, UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said: “Blackfriars solar bridge is an architectural gem, a truly iconic installation and a fantastic addition to the skyline of the greatest city in the World.”

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