West Ham is going green. The football club’s home at the London Stadium is getting its roof covered with solar panels so it can generate its own energy. Plans have been revealed to wrap the former Olympic Stadium in a very cool-sounding ‘solar membrane’.
The £4 million project is part of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC)’s aim to cut carbon emissions. It’s thought that the solar panels could pay for themselves after just five years as they will generate around 3 million kilowatts of power a year.
This solar-power project is the first of its kind on this scale and the technology for the membrane is still being developed. The materials for the stadium’s outer layer will be decided after a feasibility study takes place, to which City Hall has agreed to contribute £45,000. One solution could be using a sheeting-like material with photovoltaic panels embedded in it.
A London Stadium spokesperson said: ‘The provision of energy through solar or similar technology has been explored previously but was not possible with the technology available at the time. Recent developments suggest that the previous barriers – which included the weight loading required upon the roof – may now be addressable.
‘The purpose of the feasibility study is to explore this and quantify the cost and benefits achievable. The outcome of this will determine how self-sufficient the stadium could become in the future.’
Work on the ‘solar membrane’ could begin as soon as mid-2023, with electricity starting to be generated some time after April 2024.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan approves. He said: ‘I always support innovation in our city, I always support [people in] our city being pioneers for issues. London is the sporting capital of the world.
‘Let’s wait and see how these ideas develop – but I’m really glad to see West Ham winning at last.’
There are plans to transform Earl’s Court with new homes, culture and a massive park.
The Migration Museum is getting a permanent home in the City of London.