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Largest solar powered bridge in the world inaugurated in London

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The world's largest solar bridge was inaugurated yesterday in London, at Blackfriars station.

The bridge across the river Thames has been covered with a solar roof made of 4,400 panels which will produce over 50% of the power needed to run the station.

The major green energy project took almost five years to realise in partnership with solar installation firm Solarcentury, one of the world's leading solar energy companies, as part of a £6.5bn programme to increase capacity on the Thameslink route.

Managing director of Network Rail Infrastructure Projects Simon Kirby said that the innovative solar roof on Blackfriars bridge is showing how the route is being enhanced through the use of “smart, sustainable technology to reduce the cost of running the railway".

David Statham, managing director of First Capital Connect also explained how the new solar roof will make journeys "even more sustainable” for First Capital Connect customers, electric trains already being the public transport with the lowest impact on the environment, and added: "The distinctive roof has also turned our station into an iconic landmark visible for miles along the River Thames."

The 4,400 panels that make up the solar roof on Blackfriars bridge cover an area of 6,000 sq m and are expected to generate circa 900,000 kWh of electricity a year, which equals more or less half of the whole station power consumption. This will translate in a cut in carbon emission of 511 tonnes every year, and also a reduction of general expenditure.

At the present time, Blackfriars is the second bridge over the Thames to generate its own power after London Bridge and it will play a major role in advertising London's efforts to become a sustainable city.

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