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Published on June 6th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


2 Miles of Solar Panels Now Cover High-Speed Rail Tunnel on Amsterdam-Paris Line {VIDEO}

June 6th, 2011 by  

I can’t pass up these high-speed-rail-solar-power combos — they are just too cool.

A tunnel in Belgium built to protect high-speed trains from falling trees is now covered in 16,000 solar panels (yes, you may remember Tina covering this project a bit as it got underway last October).

solar powered high-speed train tunnel europe

The two-mile tunnel prevents the need to cut down any of the trees in a nearby ancient forest and will now also be able to provide power to the Antwerp train station and the Belgian train network.

The company that installed the solar panel is Belgian renewable energy company Enfinity.

“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,” said Bart Van Renterghem, the UK head of Enfinity.

As the video above shows (somewhat), this project was massive. Hopefully we’ll see more and more projects like this — projects utilizing unused space to create distributed power plants

For more on this project or related projects in the UK, check out the Guardian’s piece on this: High-speed Euro train gets green boost from two miles of solar panels.

For a similar story about a project connecting high-speed rail and solar energy in China, check out: Huge 6.7MW Solar Station Meets High-Speed Rail in Shanghai, China. That project entailed 20,000 solar panels on top of the Hongqiao Train Station.

More high-speed rail stories on CleanTechnica:

  1. “Mad Men” Make it Clear Why High-Speed Rail is a Winner [VIDEO]
  2. Putin Says Russia Will Have High-Speed Rail by 2018 World Cup
  3. High-Speed Rail Opposition and Support
  4. High-Speed Rail in China and California [VIDEOS]


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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

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