It's been a while since we reported on plans to turn the Blackfriars railway bridge in central London into a massive solar power station. That plan has now come to fruition, with the bridge officially opening for business earlier this month:
The 4,400 photovoltaic panels cover the roof of the station and produce enough energy to make almost 80,000 cups of tea a day. In fact, London’s longest array provides up to half of the station’s energy, reducing its CO2 emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes per year – equivalent approximately to 89,000 (average) car journeys.
Given the fact that solar is just one piece of the climate puzzle, it's good to see this as part of an ambitious redesign of important rail infrastructure. Blackfriars Station now boasts a new entrance on the south bank of the Thames (this will be the first rail station you can get to from both sides of the river), four new platforms and a redeveloped Underground station - all of which should make sustainable, car-free transportation even more viable for commuters, residents and visitors alike.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker had this to say about the bridge:
“Blackfriars solar bridge is an architectural gem, a truly iconic installation and a fantastic addition to the skyline of the greatest city in the World. I congratulate everyone involved in making it happen.”
As a native of Bristol, I'll refrain from commenting on London's greatness. Regarding the bridge, however, I whole heartedly agree.