Tate Modern gets a solar upgrade

The iconic Tate Modern building in London is getting a new solar PV system this month, courtesy of Solarcentury.

The 82kWp system, which will be installed on the Gallery’s roof, is being donated by the renewable energy company.

The former Bankside power station last generated electricity in 1981. 

“For Tate Modern, installing a solar PV system is another small but important step in making the gallery as sustainable and efficient as possible,” said the Tate’s Director of National & International Programmes, Judith Nesbitt.

“Together with our plans for heat recovery and natural ventilation in the new building, we are exploring a whole range of approaches to reducing energy use.”

Tate Modern joins around 80 other London organisations – from fire stations to schools to private businesses – that Solarcentury has installed solar on over the last 17 years, including the panels on nearby Blackfriars Bridge

The solar system on the bridge started generating electricity in 2013 and meets up to 50% of the station’s energy needs every year. The visible structure in the heart of London, one of the oldest cities in the world, further establishes London as a solar city.

Frans van den Heuvel, CEO at Solarcentury said: “Becoming a corporate partner of Tate and marking it by installing solar is a perfect opportunity for Solarcentury to bring clean energy to the art world. 

“Electrifying this former power station with its own clean energy system also reflects the global shift currently underway towards cleaner energy sources. It’s encouraging that we’re seeing a wave of solar spreading through London as recognition grows for the benefits of solar, still the most popular clean technology among the British public.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues