Solar PV - Potential along overground trackside

MQT on 2015-06-17
Session date: 
June 17, 2015
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Recent research for Network Rail identified the potential for solar panels to be installed on half of the trackside land in the UK which could generate 2.44 GW electricity, or around 40% of the electricity Network Rail currently uses to power trains, and generate revenue of £235m in its first year. Could Transport for London undertake a similar study on its overground trackside land across London?


Answer for Solar PV - Potential along overground trackside

Answer for Solar PV - Potential along overground trackside

Answered By: 
The Mayor

TfL is aware of this interesting research and is investigating the potential for trackside solar panels. There are some obvious practical constraints involved in installing panels next to track, such as allowing space for maintenance work, but if the scale of potential benefit identified in the Network Rail research is applicable to the Overground then this is an interesting opportunity. 

Currently the best approach for installing solar PV has been by integrating with other capital projects. This has resulted in, for example, solar PV being installed at Paddington station as part of the upgrade and the new Northfields Train Crew Accommodation building. The total installed capacity on the estate is c.60kW. In addition, Tramlink is about to begin the installation of a 10kW array at its Therapia Lane depot.  TfL is already using the latest Department of Energy & Climate Change solar strategy to investigate how more roof space can be used to install solar PV in order to power more of its systems and assets