Blackfriars Bridge in London hasn’t half come a long way since 1896. From the horse-drivers in this pretty delightful archive video to the largest ever ‘solar bridge’ on earth. Well, halfway there at least.
The installers, Solarcentury, were keen to promote their progress last week, and without a doubt it’s a renewables story that’s caught the media’s attention.
No wonder really: at 6,000 square metres and – eventually – 4,400 panels, this is an absolute monster of a project.
Described as “Architecturally challenging” by Frans van den Heuvel, chief exec of Solarcentury (which sounds like understatement to this blogger), he expands further:
“The project demonstrates just what is possible with this versatile technology in dense urban areas,” he added. “We’ve been working amongst one of the most complex build programmes in the country, at height, over water and live train lines. It’s a great feeling to be halfway there.”
It’s all part of National Rail’s grand plan to significantly cut it’s carbon emissions – something which we’ve explored in previous blogs – and since this epic amount of PV will provide roughly half what the station needs to function, it’s certainly a statement of intent.
It hasn’t all been plain-sailing across the Thames, though. The wettest three months on record have made life tough for those putting the pieces together. It’s worth remembering at this point that PV generates energy from sunlight, not sunshine.
You could say the project’s nearing the end of a bridge over troubled weather…I’ll get my coat.