Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by Ursula Bach

World’s largest solar powered bridge opens in London

12th February 2014

London Blackfriars station in London, UK, has undergone a major redevelopment programme, transforming it into the world’s largest ‘solar bridge’. The Blackfriars solar bridge extends across the River Thames and transports over 44,000 passengers a day from one of the busiest stations in the city. The station is a significant part of the £6.5 billion (€7.8 billion) Thameslink Programme, which aims to increase train capacity on one of Europe’s busiest stretches of railway. The redeveloped station building was designed by Jacobs with the rail bridge design undertaken by Tony Gee & Partners of London.

Image courtesy of inhabitat.com

Image courtesy of inhabitat.com

Solarcentury, the UK Company managing the installation, expects that the photovoltaic panels will produce around 900,000 kWh of electricity a year. The electricity generated will cover half of  Blackfriars station’s electricity needs and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 511 tons per year. Sun pipes for natural eco-friendly lighting and rainwater harvesting systems have also been integrated into the new design.

European Green Capital

Aside from providing renewable energy to the station, the Blackfriars bridge symbolises London’s commitment to becoming a more sustainable city. Energy performance is one of the 12 key environmental indicators that those applying for the European Green Capital Award are assessed on. Bristol European Green Capital 2015 impressed the Jury with its investment plans for transport and energy. Bristol has committed a budget of €500m for transport improvements by 2015 and up to €300m for energy efficiency and renewable energy by 2020.

For more information on the European Green Capital Award click here.

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