A 470-meter solar-powered footbridge recently opened in Brisbane’s Central Business District, writes Inhabitat. The footbridge, designed by Cox Architects, an Australian firm, cost $63 million. Approximately 36,000 pedestrians and bikers are expected to use the bridge per year.
According to Inhabitat, the LED lighting system is designed for maximum energy efficiency and will be used for festivals along the river. The LED lighting system is powered by 84 solar panels mounted on the bridge, which can ”generate a daily output of 100KWh and an average yearly output of 38MWh.”
The solar panel system will provide enough energy to light the bridge in most instances. When the bridge is fully illuminated, it must receive 25 percent of its energy from the central grid. During the day, howerver, the bridge will return energy to the central grid.
TreeHugger added that the footbridge is expected to save 37.8 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
This project is a good example of “multiple use” or green infrastructure discussed by Ken Smith, ASLA, in a recent interview. The footbridge not only enables non-automotive access to Brisbane’s downtown area, but also creates energy.