Energy/power typeSolar PV
Energy Garden aims to increase awareness of environmental issues, whilst inspiring local communities to create infrastructure that brings cohesion. Energy Garden also provides resilience and promotes innovation during a time of environmental and democratic crises.
About the project
Since 2011 Energy Garden has established a network of 26 gardens across London. If you live or work in the city, you may have already encountered some of these gardens yourself. Travelling the overground rail network, every so often you will come across a pocket of leafy greenery, vibrant flowers, or even vegetables or hops growing. These are the energy gardens. Previously grey and unused station adjacent areas are converted into vibrant, dynamic spaces.
On the electricity production side, Energy Garden installs solar PV panels on railway station rooftops, powering the stations themselves. Excess energy is sold to the grid, and the proceeds are reinvested into the gardens and community programs. Through Younity, sustainable clothing store Patagonia purchase 65% of the energy exported from Streatham station, utilising it to power their UK stores.
Community Togetherness: The gardens have transformed how stations are perceived; people now consider them "their" stations. Both Transport for London (TfL) staff and their customers can collectively appreciate these spaces. This leads to the gardens improving commuter moods, with TfL surveys recognising the positive effect on their customers; stations with gardens receive the highest customer service scores. Another survey found that stations with gardens were rated 25% more positively
Education: Energy Garden has become a platform for environmental education. They conduct workshops in primary schools to educate children about solar power, electricity, plants, and urban gardening. They also run training programs for Londoners aged 18 to 24, offering a paid and accredited training program to enhance participants’ careers through learning about co-op business practices, community development, and more.
Also, Some gardens are utilised for growing vegetables, and even hops! Energy Garden ale is available for sale, and every penny goes straight back into the gardens.
The Future: The goal is to have 10MW more of solar generation by 2025. Recently, Energy Garden has partnered with Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to plan three new solar panel installations. These will produce 2 GWh of energy yearly, enough for an equivalent of 180 homes! With this promising step, and their success to date, Energy Gardens may soon bloom across the UK. When you’re next on the train, keep an eye out for possible locations!