Two-Mile Solar Tunnel Built on Belgian High-Speed Rail Line


A European high-speed rail network has begun generating electricity from 16,000 solar panels installed atop a two-mile rail tunnel on the line running from Paris to Amsterdam.

The panels, built by the Belgian renewable energy company Enfinity, will provide about 50 percent of the power needed for a nearby station in Antwerp and will also produce electricity equivalent to that needed to power all the trains in Belgium for one day per year.

The tunnel was originally built to protect the high-speed rail line from trees falling from an adjacent old-growth forest.

“For train operators, it is the perfect way to cut their carbon footprints because you can use spaces that have no other economic value and the projects can be delivered within a year because they don’t attract the protests that wind power does,” Bart Van Renterghem of Enfinity told the Guardian.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

1 Comment

  1. Jesse Samberg on

    FYI. Any update on MTA sustainability and energy management? See link and article on a rail-solar tunnel.