London Stadium ‘cutting-edge solar technology’


Solar membranes for London Stadium Image: Coliseum GSVA

A multimillion pound loan to install a vast ‘solar membrane’ on London’s (UK) former Olympic Stadium is to be granted by the City Hall.

‘Evening Standard’ stated that the arena, now known as the London Stadium and home to the Premier League club West Ham United F.C., is expected to produce fewer carbon emissions and enjoy lower energy bills as a result of the scheme.

The 80,000-capacity London Stadium is a multipurpose outdoor stadium at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the Stratford district of London (UK). It is located in the Lower Lea Valley, six miles East of Central London.

The West Ham United Football Club is an English professional football club that plays its home matches in Stratford, East London. The club competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. The club plays at the London Stadium, having moved from their former home, the now demolished 35,016-capacity Boleyn Ground, in 2016.

‘Evening Standard’ further stated that the membrane will utilize “cutting-edge solar technology” and will span some 6,000-7,000 square meters of photovoltaic (PV) material.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), the organization spearheading the project, said it will “help drive savings of up to £350,000 a year”.

London (UK)-based the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) is an organization established in 2012, replacing the Olympic Park Legacy Company and the planning powers of the Olympic Delivery Authority. It was formed as a Mayoral Development Corporation under the powers of the Localism Act 2011.

The loan for the scheme is being awarded from City Hall’s Green Finance Fund – a £500m pot launched in June as part of the London Climate Action Week.

The City Hall is a building in Southwark, London which previously served as the headquarters of the Greater London Authority between July 2002 and December 2021. It is located in the London Borough of Southwark, on the South bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge.

The London Climate Action Week was founded in 2019 by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan. It is the largest independent climate gathering in Europe. The week was established after Khan declared a climate emergency in London, following a series of scientific reports that warned of the scale of climate change.

The exact size of the loan given will depend on the tender awarded. The LLDC have previously said in a budgeting document however that they expect the scheme to cost around £4m.

The tender process began last month, and is said by the LLDC to have received “significant interest” – with a briefing of potential suppliers being held recently. A delivery partner is expected to be appointed in November and the installation is scheduled to be complete by Summer 2024.

Said Ben Coulter, LLDC’s Head of Sustainability, “The panels will generate more than 1 million kWh of renewable energy every year – 10 percent of the stadium’s current electricity usage. They will save around 270 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year – the equivalent of making 70 homes carbon neutral. It means we can showcase cutting-edge solar technology on a venue with a global audience. The solar panel membranes will make significant savings to our carbon dioxide emissions and help drive savings up to £350,000 a year.”

A number of other projects across the capital are also set to benefit from the Green Finance Fund, including up to £34.2 million which Mayor Khan has said will be made available for Transport for London (TfL) over the next three years.

These include new LED lights at the underground stations, replacement LED streetlights, new solar panels at Tube depots, and energy-efficient improvements to TfL buildings across the City. The TfL’s schemes are together estimated to save at least 8,900 equivalent tons of carbon dioxide each year.

The Mayor’s Green Finance Fund was launched at the London Climate Action Week 2023 and will lend up to £500m to projects that help London meet its net zero ambitions. The objective is to accelerate decarbonization by lowering the cost of borrowing for the eligible organizations.

The Transport for London is a local Government body responsible for most of the transport network in London, United Kingdom.

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