Blackfriars Railway Bridge: The World’s Largest Solar Panel Bridge

London Blackfriars Railway Bridge is the largest solar panel bridge in the world.

The only other solar bridge in the world is the Kurilpa Bridge in Brisbane, Australia.

London Blackfriars Railway Bridge crosses the river Thames close to the Tate Modern Gallery on the South side (right on the picture) and it is situated West of the Millenium Bridge which leads to St. Paul’s further East (on the left, with the impressive dome).

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on new Blackfriars bridge. Photo from The Guardian

This is another green project for London that was ready just in time for the Olympics, it was closed for 3 years to increase its capacity (60% more passengers each day), include a step-free access, refurbish the platforms to welcome 12-carriages services… It’s the first mainline station to span the Thames and have exits on both sides of the river.

Every morning on my way to work the train stops at Blackfriars station. I witnessed the station’s changes during the past few months, changes  that showed how modern green technology can be combined with a 125-year-old Victorian bridge harmoniously.

The roof is now covered with more than 4,400 photovoltaic solar panels which will produce 900,000kWh each year, 50% of the station’s energy and reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes a year.

The bridge also has rain harvesting systems and sun pipes for natural lighting.

The platforms’ walls are currently full of interesting signs which display how eco-friendly London Blackfriars has become after its refurbishment, so I took a few pictures:

Network Rail rebuilt the station on top of Blackfriars Bridge

Use of barges took 2,000 lorry journey off London Roads

 

First of all, all the material needed was transported on water rather than on polluting lorries

 

 

4,400 solar cells = 50% of the station’s energy is completely clean and sustainable

 

The solar cells produce enough energy to power 300 homes

 

 

Even the timber from the scaffolding didn’t go to waste

 

Blackfriars Bridge: Good at Recycling

Additional links:

Architettura Eco Sostenibile

Thameslink Programme

Thameslink Programme Facts

Renewable Technology

What do you think of this project?

Can you think of examples of cities and towns that could benefit from similar green projects?

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10 thoughts on “Blackfriars Railway Bridge: The World’s Largest Solar Panel Bridge

  1. I think it’s an amazing project a new era of another kind of energy source.
    i ve taken some of the in info above and included in my report i don’t want ot give credit to myself can anyone plz tell me about the writer of this

    Like

  2. A really interesting post, solar power is brilliant and it is important that people are encouraged to use it, and big projects like this really show you how solar panels can be used. With there being such a greater interest in ‘going green’ alternative energy sources are becoming more and more popular, from heat pumps to biomass boilers.

    Like

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