Antwerp-Amsterdam rail line gets solar power
Europe’s first solar panelled train tunnel opened in June, bringing green energy to trains on the high-speed line between Antwerp and Amsterdam. The 16,000 solar panels on the roof of Antwerp Central Station will also power railway infrastructure and trains using the Belgian rail network.
The project, known as Solar Tunnel, is expected to generate 3.3 megawatts of energy – the equivalent of the average annual electricity consumption of about 1,000 homes. According to a press release from project partners Enfinity, the tunnel will decrease CO2 emissions by 2,400 tons a year.
The tunnel is hailed as the first ever railway infrastructure to be used to generate green energy. “It is the perfect way to cut the carbon footprint because the spaces used have no other economic value,” Bart van Renterghem, Enfinity’s UK head told The Daily Mail.
Among those collaborating on the tunnel were Belgian rail operator Infrabel and solar construction company Solar Power Systems.
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