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World's largest solar powered bridge makes Britains biggest brew

22 January 2014

The bridge at Blackfriars station produces enough energy to make almost 80,000 cups of tea a day from the 6,000m2 of photovoltaic panels.


First Capital Connect commuters arriving at London Blackfriars station were given a free cuppa drawn from Britain’s biggest tea cup to celebrate the launch of the world’s largest solar bridge.

The 4,400 photovoltaic panels which cover the roof of the station, the first to span the Thames, also make it London’s longest array. It provides up to 50% of the station’s energy, reducing its CO2 emissions by an estimated 511 tonnes a year, equivalent to around 89,000 (average) car journeys.

Blackfriars station

The revamped Blackfriars station opened in 2012 and boasts a new entrance on the South Bank of the Thames, a redeveloped Underground station and four new platforms, meaning a better interchange between First Capital Connect and London Underground services and space for longer trains. It sits at the heart of the £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme that is transforming the route through central London to provide longer, more frequent services.

More about Blackfriars station redevelopment.

“The dramatic transformation of Blackfriars station from a small and cramped station to a modern landmark is typical of how we are enhancing one of Europe’s busiest rail routes – using smart, sustainable technology to reduce the cost of running the railway at the same time as giving passengers the longer, more frequent trains that are so desperately needed.”

Simon Kirby, managing director, Network Rail Infrastructure Projects 

Thameslink Programme

More about the £6.5billion Thameslink Programme which will increase capacity on one of Eurpoe's busiest stretches of railway running north-south through central London.

Solar bridge

  • System size: 1.1 MWp
  • No of panels: 4,400
  • Area of Solar PV system: 6000m2 
  • Annual generation: 900,000 kWh
  • Annual CO2 savings: 513,000 kg

These are estimates and were correct at the time of installation.