At the Brackfriars train station platform, London’s largest photovoltaic solar panel array is being constructed. This is also to be the world’s largest solar bridge. This project will consist of 4,400 solar panels from Solar Century that are expected to generate 900 MWh per year.
Brackfriars Solar Bridge Project
Solar Century is the UK-based company that is constructing this project. This project is expected to meet half of the Brackfriars station’s electricity requirements, and avoid 511 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from traditional power plants.
“Blackfriars Bridge is an ideal location for solar; a new, iconic large roof space, right in the heart of London,” said Solar Century chief executive Derry Newman in a statement.
“Station buildings and bridges are fixed parts of our urban landscape and it is great to see that this one will be generating renewable energy every day into the future. For people to see that solar power is working is a vital step towards a clean energy future.”
This is one of the types of solar projects I admire most, primarily due to the fact that the solar panels are being put to use in more than one way. They don’t just generate electricity, but they also shade the bridge, and they thus enable people to be far more comfortable, and even turn their air conditioning off, when waiting in slow traffic, which can save a lot of fuel.
Another benefit of this type of setup is that it utilizes existing roof space above the bridge which would not otherwise be used, so land is not being wasted on the solar panels.
Other resource conservation systems are being set up at Brackfriars, as well, including sun pipes to provide natural sun lighting instead of using electric lighting.
“The Victorian rail bridge at Blackfriars is part of our railway history,” he said. “Constructed in the age of steam, we’re bringing it bang up to date with 21st century solar technology to create an iconic station for the city.”