We’re passionate about solar power, so we’re thrilled to hear the news that a solar-powered railway is demonstrating the possibilities of renewable energy in Aldershot.

The inspiring railway is part of a project called Riding Sunbeams. It consists of a 30kW solar test unit and around 100 solar panels, and the entire network’s signalling and lights will be powered by solar energy.

The world’s first solar-powered railway

The project is the first of its kind and is highlighting the ability to connect solar straight to a railway – cutting out the need to rely on the Grid. It’s an exciting moment in the world of solar, as it could carve the way for a move to solar-powered rail travel in the future. Imagine stepping onto a train and starting a journey powered by solar…

The charity behind the forward-thinking project is called 10:10 Climate Action, and they’re working with Community Energy South and Network Rail. Working closely with a host of leaders from the renewable energy field, the Riding Sunbeams team are hoping to find out more about how large solar systems may power trains in the future.

During the project, electricity demand data will be gathered from a handful of community solar sites. The findings will then help the team to create a full-scale solar farm connected to railways across the UK. The farm would be owned by communities and commuters, and Riding Sunbeams hope to have it up and running by the end of next year.

So where did it all start? A study carried out in 2017 showed that solar arrays connected to rail networks could provide electricity at a more cost-effective rate than using the Grid. The study also found that solar rail could well meet a large amount of rail travel’s energy requirements.

Why switch to solar energy?

Rail travel is the largest user of electricity in the UK, so it’s a fantastic idea to meet this need using solar power and decrease our use of fossil fuels. Switching to solar energy would also lower costs, making rail travel more affordable for passengers.

We’re right behind the Riding Sunbeams team, and we can’t wait to see more projects focusing on switching to solar energy. We specialise in solar PV and battery storage systems for home and business owners across the South West.

If you’d like to chat about solar energy in more detail, give us a call on 01803 732946 and we’ll be happy to help. Solar PV for homes.

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