(Updated) Belgian rail network operator Infrabel has opened its new Paris to Amsterdam high-speed rail link tunnel, which features 16,000 solar panels on its 3.4km rooftop. The plant will produce electricity for the railway infrastructure on the Antwerp North-South junction, including signaling, lighting and heating railway stations, as well as powering the trains.
The 3MW project was completed in partnership with Enfinity, the municipalities of Brasschaat and Schoten, financing companies FINEA and IKA and solar construction company Solar Power Systems. Panels for the tunnel were provided by JinkoSolar.
“We consider Jinko as a key partner in this Solar Tunnel project, the more than 16,000 of each Jinko panel reaching up to 245W high efficient solar panels are ideal for this kind of solar rooftop installation here in Belgium. They deliver a perfect performance for this first Solar Train project ever,” Steven De Tollenaere, Enfinity’s CEO, added.
The solar energy produced by the installation each year will be used to power the railway infrastructure as well as both conventional and high-speed trains. The system is expected to be able to power a total of 4,000 trains per year on solar energy. The total investment budget was €14.5 million.
Enfinity has also partnered Infrabel and the municipalities of Schoten and Brasschaat on a solar photovoltaic installation covering the roof of the high-speed rail tunnel along the E19 motorway in Belgium.