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Halfway there for world's largest solar bridge

Installers have reached the halfway point in completion of the world’s largest solar bridge in central London.

The 250m roof, being clad with solar panels, covers the refurbished Blackfriars bridge, which now forms a station spanning the River Thames.

Panasonic’s panels are being installed by Solarcentury and cover an area of 6,000 sq m.

Half the 4,400 panels are now in place and the finished bridge is expected to generate 900,000 kWh of electricity a year, saving more than 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually and meeting half the station’s energy needs.

Solarcentury chief executive Frans van den Heuvel said: “Blackfriars will be one of the world’s great solar power installations.  The project demonstrates just what is possible with this versatile technology in dense urban areas.”

The work at Blackfriars, led by main contractor Belfour Beatty, is part of a wider upgrade of the Thameslink route from Bedford to Brighton, which will provide additional cross-London routes when works are complete.

The only other solar bridge known to exist, is the Kurilpa Footbridge built in Brisbane, Australia in 2009.

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