- Work now underway to identify prime locations where solar power could reduce energy costs
- New panels will increase solar capacity across TfL by 1.1MW – which when combined with existing panels could help cut CO2 emissions by around 480 tonnes a year
- Initiative is part of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s £34 million Energy for Londoners
The contract will see up to 24 properties across TfL’s estate fitted with the new panels, including bus stations, train depots, manufacturing workshops, train crew accommodation and office buildings. The project is being delivered through RE:FIT alongside the Mayor’s £34 million Energy for Londoners programme, which aims to make homes warmer and energy bills more affordable, workplaces more energy efficient, and supply London’s homes and businesses with cleaner and more local energy sources, like solar.
The first panels, which will be delivered as part of TfL’s new Train Modification Unit at Acton Depot, will be installed from early 2019, helping to work towards the Mayor’s commitment for London to be a zero carbon city by 2050. Further sites could also be fitted with solar panels in the future, subject to funding.
Across London, a number of TfL buildings already have solar panels, including Grade-I listed 55 Broadway in St James’s Park, Palestra in Southwark, the Grade-II listed London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, train crew accommodation buildings at Brixton, Stratford and Cockfosters, as well as on the Hammersmith and City line station at Paddington and at Walworth Bus Garage.
Together, these sites can already produce around 245kW of electricity. This could increase by a further 1.1MW once the new panels are installed. Combined, they could cut TfL’s CO2 emissions by around 480 tonnes a year – the equivalent to boiling 16 million kettles. In addition, energy efficiency upgrades, such as retrofitting older buildings with more modern heating and lighting, are anticipated to help reduce energy consumption in some of these buildings by around 20 per cent.
All of TfL’s property development projects are assessed to see whether they can incorporate solar, other renewables and energy efficiency measures, as part of their overall energy strategy. TfL will also continue to look to install solar panels as part of other capital projects, such as future station upgrades and at train depots across the London Underground network to help reduce energy costs in the future.
Around 3,500 bus stops and shelters across London also have solar panels fitted to them, helping to provide power for LED lighting in the shelters and to illuminate bus timetables. These alone generated almost 280,000kWh of power and helped avoid 126 tonnes of carbon emissions being emitted – the equivalent weight of around nine double-decker buses.
Shirley Rodrigues, the Deputy Mayor of Environment and Energy said:
“As part of the Mayor’s ambitious Energy for Londoners programme, Transport for London will be expanding its use of solar power and upgrading its buildings so they use less energy. The Mayor wants even more local clean energy in London to power and heat our transport, homes, businesses and communities to help cut pollution and clean up London’s air.”
Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at TfL, said:
“Across TfL, we are committed to doing whatever we can to be as energy-efficient as possible. Improving London’s air quality and reducing our impact on the environment are key elements of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and expanding our solar capability across the business will ensure we do this in a cost efficient and technologically-advanced way.”
Wilfrid Petrie, CEO of ENGIE in the UK & Ireland, commented
“We are delighted to be partnering with Transport for London on this solar project, which will not only lower energy costs and optimise the use of TfL’s estate but will also provide broader benefits to London inhabitants and businesses by improving air quality. ENGIE is committed to providing solutions for cities like London to reduce carbon emissions and enable greater efficiency.”
The delivery of more solar power is just one of a number of schemes TfL is delivering to help reduce carbon emissions and become more energy efficient. As part of a 12-month pilot scheme run by City Hall, two TfL depots – Northfields in Ealing and Northumberland Park in Haringey, will be part-powered through locally generated cleaner energy. London is the first public body to secure a junior electricity licence, which went live in January 2018, and will use energy bought from Peabody Services and Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE Heat Networks). Both of the busy train depots service and maintain Tube trains round the clock. The Mayor is also helping both the public and the private sector to build larger-scale heat networks, including the use of local sources, like waste heat from the Tube, through a £3.5m Decentralised Energy Enabling Project to help make London cleaner and smarter.
The RE:FIT programme was originally created in 2008 by the Greater London Authority and is now a national scheme with over 200 organisations signed up and over 600 properties successfully retrofitted. The robust energy performance contracting approach provides the opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, achieve substantial guaranteed energy savings, and cut costs through energy efficiency and energy generation measures.
For more information on how TfL is working to reduce its energy costs and environmental impact, please visit https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/