Work has been completed on a green project to provide power for part of Belgium’s rail network. The scheme has involved the installation of 16,000 monocrystalline solar panels on the roof of a tunnel. They cover a surface area of 50,000m2, roughly equivalent to eight football pitches, and should generate an estimated 3,300MWh of electricity every year, equivalent to the average annual consumption of almost 1,000 families. Over the next 20 years, around 47.3 million kg of CO2 emissions will be saved.

Belgian rail infrastructure firm Infrabel will use the energy in the Antwerp North-South Junction area, including the city’s central station, to power both conventional and high speed trains on the Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris line.

The project represents a unique application for solar technology in Europe and cost €14.5 million to deliver.