London transport operator Transport for London (TfL) is saving on costs associated with installing rooftop solar systems by incorporating them into other improvement works.
TfL has a target of reducing its emissions by 60% on 1990 levels by 2025 and remains one of the UK’s principle consumers of electricity, operating London’s Underground network as well as its bus fleet and road system.
While the organisation has previously unveiled a host of other energy efficiency drives, including ramping up LED installs, it has come under increasing pressure to adopt more on-site generation due to its sizeable land estate in the capital.
London mayoral hopefuls Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith have both unveiled campaign pledges to encourage TfL to incorporate more renewables generation, particularly solar PV.
Speaking to sister publication Solar Power Portal, TfL’s managing director of planning Richard De Cani said that renewables had an important role to play in the organisation meeting its emissions targets, but that any install had to meet strict value for money conditions.
As a not-for-profit organisation, any surplus finance from ticket sales is reinvested back into London’s transport infrastructure.
De Cani also noted that the operational environments of some of its facilities mean that installing renewable energy generators is “not always possible”.
TfL is listed as owning some 683 sites in the capital, 270 of which are working Tube stations, while more of its estate comprises train sheds, depots, warehouses, crew accommodation and office blocks.
One way that TfL has managed to reduce the cost of installing solar onto its buildings has been to incorporate it into other planned works such as roof replacement and/or repair or other maintenance.
Rooftop solar installations were made at both Paddington station and Northfields Train Crew Accommodation facilities during other planned maintenance work, which De Cani said “presented the most cost effective time to do so”.