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World’s Largest Solar Bridge Coming up Across River Thames

A massive solar roof, which will accommodate 4,400 individual photovoltaic panels, is currently under construction on the Victorian-era Blackfriars Bridge in London. When completed, it will become the world’s largest solar bridge. The project, which is being built by Solarcentury, involves the installation of a 6,000 square meter photovoltaic array on the Blackfriars Bridge. After completion, the panels will produce around 900,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in a single year.  The project will help reduce annual CO2 emissions by more than 500 tons and renewable energy will account for half of the station’s energy needs.

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The construction process on the bridge, which was originally built in 1884, will require tons of new materials. All these heavy loads will be transported by barge instead of via London’s busy roads, in order to keep environmental impact as low as possible.

The upgrade to the bridge is part of Network Rail’s £5.5 billion Thameslink programme, which aims to improve the interchange between the national rail and the London Underground. Once the project is complete, up to 24 trains will be able to run on the route per hour, which is nearly double the station’s capacity.

The increase of traffic along the Thames will also be a good thing when the 2012 Olympics come to town.

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