05/10/2011 06:42 BST | Updated 04/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Green Energy: Work Begins On Solar Bridge To Power Blackfriars Station (Pictures)

Construction has begun on the world’s largest solar bridge.

Due for completion in 2012, the bridge, which spans the Thames at Blackfriars Station in London, will feature more than 4,400 solar panels, generating an estimated 900,000kWh of power a year.

The station, which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound redevelopment, will be powered by the panels, which are being installed above the station platform and out across the existing Blackfriars Bridge, which was built in 1886.

According to the Solarcentury, the company behind the project, the energy generated will reduce annual CO2 emissions by around 500 tonnes.

A Solarcentury statement read: "Blackfriars Bridge is an ideal location for solar; a new, iconic large roof space, right in the heart of London."

"Station buildings and bridges are fixed parts of our urban landscape and it is great to see that this one will be generating renewable energy every day into the future."

Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, Derry Newman, Solarcentury's chief executive, said: "Not since the 16th century when our bridges were lined with shops and homes have we considered using these fantastic spaces in a more productive way.

"Blackfriars roof will not only protect the bridge, trains and passengers but produce 50 per cent of the stations energy.

"This project is symbolic of a new energy era, and shows what can be achieved if we put our built environment to work with 21st century clean technology."