King’s Cross renovation completed with a little help from solar PV

by Rebecca Boyle on October 8, 2012

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The renovation of Londons iconic King’s Cross Station has recently been completed, including the installation of 1,392 solar cells. The solar photovoltaic system, which is embedded into the stations new glass roof, will generate over 175,000 kWh of clean energy equating to around 10% of the stations electricity needs.

The cost of installing solar at the King’s Cross site, including purchasing panels, was £1.3 million, less than 1% of the $500 million project budget. King’s Cross is a Grade 1 listed building and traditional solar panels, as well as blocking light, would have been insensitive to the needs of the renovation, as such the cells were “embedded into glass laminate units that now form part of the two new vaulted roofing structures spanning the main platforms.”

Solar PV installed at Kings Cross Station

As spokes person for the project team said:

“King’s Cross has been a fantastic project to work on – but also a labour of love.  The sheer scale of the installation has presented many major technical and aesthetic design challenges from day one and there has been no margin for error as the work had to be undertaken whist the station remained fully operational.  We are very proud of our involvement as we believe the project combines the very best in modern design, technical excellence and sustainability with the grace of one of the UK’s most iconic grade 1 listed buildings.”

The integration of solar PV onto the renovation of Kings Cross renovation is the most recent in series of renewable energy installations on the rail network. The King’s Cross development is a third of the size of the solar PV project at Brackfriars station which will cover more than 6,000 square meters when completed.

Solar Panels on Blackfriers Bridge

December 2012 will also see the completion of a solar PV project at Victorian Bridge, more than 4,400 panels.The panels are expected to generate 900,000 kWh of electricity every year, saving over 500 tonnes of CO2 annually, in addition to the development at Blackfriars Station. After installation is complete the solar panels should produce more than 50% of the stations energy needs. A spokes person for the panel manufacturer said of the build:

“Our solar panels will soon help provide clean, emission free energy to an important London transport hub. Whilst commuters at Blackfriars station might not notice the solar panels, the solar will play an important role in their travel experience every day. We hope this will have a real impact on the way people see green energy, proving it as reliable, unobtrusive and the energy of today.”

Images via Network Rail

© 2012 Solar Selections Ltd

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