Bankset Energy Corporation has ambitious plans to install gigawatts of solar PV on railway sleepers across the globe.
While the first installation took place in Switzerland, work is underway on projects in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, China and Italy; and gearing up in Austria and Spain. pv magazine speaks to Bankset Group president, Patrick Buri.
The U.K. renewable energy investor says it plans to cover the world’s railway network system – said to be over one million km long when added together – with solar PV panels.
Bankset Energy began its journey in Bern, Switzerland, on private industrial track connected to the SBB/CFF track; and started installing 200 MW worth of panels on 1,000 km of rail track in Saxony, Germany, in June. The latter is set to be completed in 2019, and extended to 10,000 km by 2022.
The company is also working on projects in the United Kingdom, France, the United States, China and Italy; and is gearing up for more in Austria and Spain, Bankset Group president, Patrick Buri, tells pv magazine, adding that either Bankset Rails Group installs the projects, or it works with several rail specialists, such as Sersa Rail Group.
Regarding project times, Buri says that if the line is completely closed, “we can install 1,000 km in one to four months.”
“Using patented technology, solar panels made of silicone and aluminium are designed to clip over existing railway sleepers. These are currently made from concrete, wood and steel – proven technologies that have stood the test of time,” read a statement from the company on the technology.
It continued, “The Bankset Energy System transforms the existing technology into a cutting edge energy system, without affecting the infrastructure and avoiding the cost of replacing existing sleepers.”
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