London Plugs into the Sun: the Blackfriars Solar Bridge
February 9, 2014
For a city noted for its fog and drizzle, London’s newest distinction may seem like a bit of a head-scratcher. According to Smartplanet.com, the London is now home to the world’s largest solar bridge.
The Blackfriars Railway Bridge is a Victorian era structure that lies somewhere between the Thames, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tate Modern. This bridge has undergone massive reconstruction that took five years of planning and construction and is part of a £6.5 million renovation. The Blackfriars re-opened this year with a new roof of over 4,000 solar panels.
The panels will produce 900,000 kilowatt hours annually, which will cover half of the energy needs of the electric railway station housed under the bridge. This use of solar power will even make a neat little dent in the city’s fuel consumption. Sustainablebusiness.com describes the innovative (and quite dramatic) engineering that went into the project. They point out that “a city doesn’t have to be in the tropics to take advantage of solar energy.”
You and I can harness the same power on a much smaller scale. As solar technology continues to develop, it becomes increasingly accessible. Our own site features solar powered products providing light and communication. And if the sun’s power can help run a city that rarely sees it, maybe it’s something we should be thinking more about.
Photo Courtesy of SmartPlanet.com