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).
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:
First of all, all the material needed was transported on water rather than on polluting lorries
What do you think of this project?
Can you think of examples of cities and towns that could benefit from similar green projects?