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UK rail operator to generate and sell electricity from rooftop PV
Rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which manages Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern services, has turned London’s Streatham Hill depot into a local source of renewable energy through a co-operative energy project with community climate action group, Energy Garden.
The project will eventually see 526 solar panels installed on the depot’s roof by Energy Garden, which works with more than 50 community groups across the rail network, channelling the profits to support community development.
Around 42% of the electricity generated on the roof throughout the year will be sold directly to GTR to power the daytime usage of the Streatham Depot. The remaining energy will be exported by Energy Garden to other businesses keen to improve their community and sustainability credentials, including clothing company Patagonia and Younity, a joint venture between The Co-Op and Octopus Energy.
Over 20 years, the combined income is set to generate more than £100,000 which will fund Energy Garden’s delivery of schools’ education, youth training programmes and community gardens on the rail network.
The trial will be an important step toward the company’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions by 2035 and become a net zero business by 2045 and, if successful, the project could see GTR extend the energy generation initiative to additional depots across its network.
PV panels being installed on the roof of the Streatham Depot