Allison Leahy

World's Largest Solar Bridge Crosses The River Thames in London

by , 10/07/11

blackfriars bridge, blackfriars, thames, network rail, solarcentury, green design, eco design, eco friendly, environmental design, environment, sustainable design, sustainable living, green living, eco habitat, eco conscious, green infrastructure, infrastructure, green transportation, co2, climate change, green technology, eco art, photovoltaic, pv, solar panel, transportation, green bridge, solar bridge, london, green technology, sustainable design, sustainable renewable energy, clean energy, cheap energy

Over 100 bridges, 20 tunnels, and six public ferries cross the River Thames, but only Blackfriars will shine in photovoltaic glory. Solarcentury is working in conjunction with other public transportation and facility upgrades to reduce pollution and congestion, improve the passenger environment, and act as a catalyst for regenerating some of London’s more deprived areas. Lengthening the station’s deck will require 14,000 tons of new materials. In an effort to keep environmental impact to a minimum, hefty loads will be transported by barge instead of via London’s crowded roads.

Originally built in 1884, Blackfriars station is overdue for the retrofit, which will bring this steam-era railway into the 21st century and give travelers direct access to key local attractions including the Globe Theater and the Tate Modern. The station’s redevelopment is part of Network Rail’s £5.5 billion Thameslink program, which aims to improve the interchange between the national rail and the London Underground. Once the upgrade is complete, as many as 24 trains will be able to run the tracks every hour, nearly doubling the station’s capacity. Upping the amount of north-south traffic along the Thames will be a good thing when the 2012 Olympics come to town.

“Station buildings and bridges are fixed parts of our urban landscape,” said Derry Newman, Chief Executive of Solarcentury in a statement, “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.”

Brisbane may have a solar-powered footbridge and there are plenty of other green bridges out there, but Blackfriars Bridge is set to hold the record for the longest — at least for now.

+ Solarcentury

Via CleanTechnica

Images © Solarcentury, Network Rail, and so.geograph.uk

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3 Comments

  1. Lydie Camus October 29, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Hello, would it be possible to visit the bridge with a group of teenagers ? Thanks. Regards. Lydie Camus English teacher ( Soissons- France)

  2. Allison Leahy Allison Leahy October 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    @Buildingwell, You are so right. It’s important to see the clean-green potential in what we’ve already created. Ultimately this will save materials and allow vibrant architectural/infrastructural histories to shed light upon present times.

  3. Buildingwell Buildingwell October 13, 2011 at 11:16 am

    It’s great to see various existing structures being retrofitted to take part in the renewable energy push. While we may have a significant number of buildings, we should also look at other built forms such as infrastructure. This project, along with other similar ones, will help to educate the population about the various opportunities we have to incorporate renewable energy production without having to take over greenfields.

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