Work starts on world’s largest solar bridge job

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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London specialist Solarcentury has started fitting more than 4,400 solar panels to the roof of Blackfriars Bridge railway station on River Thames.

When more than 6,000 sq m of solar photovoltaic panels have been fitted it will become the world’s largest solar bridge.

Once commissioned it will generate enough electricity every year to meet half of the station’s energy needs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes annually.

The Victorian bridge, built in 1886, is the foundation for the new Blackfriars station, which is being upgraded by Balfour Beatty as part of the Thameslink project.

In addition to solar panels, other energy saving measures at the new station will include rain harvesting systems and sun pipes for natural lighting.

Lindsay Vamplew, Network Rail’s project director for Blackfriars, said: “We’re creating a spacious, modern station and delivering a vastly improved train service for passengers, while at the same time installing London’s largest solar array to make Blackfriars more environmentally-friendly and sustainable.

“The Victorian rail bridge at Blackfriars is part of our railway history. Constructed in the age of steam, we’re bringing it bang up to date with twenty first century solar technology to create an iconic station for the city.”

The company behind the solar engineering and installation is London-based Solarcentury, which worked with engineers Jacobs to incorporate solar PV into the station design.

The high-efficiency solar modules used are manufactured by SANYO Electric Co. Ltd.

Derry Newman, chief executive, Solarcentury, said: “It’s fantastic to see this project finally come to fruition. Blackfriars Bridge is an ideal location for solar; a new, iconic large roof space, right in the heart of London.”

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