Smart Transport

Riding Sunbeams ready to develop more solar rail projects

Riding Sunbeams, the solar rail company, has secured an undisclosed amount of commercial funding to take forward renewable energy projects to help decarbonise the UK rail system.

The commercial funding comes from Thrive Renewables and Friends Provident Foundation in exchange for a minority shareholding in the business and an active role in governance.

Riding Sunbeams will use the investment to develop a pipeline of new renewable energy projects in South East England and the Valleys in South Wales.

The new working capital will enable Riding Sunbeams to provide a commercial route to market for community energy groups looking for new projects to develop and connect them to regional rail network operators like Network Rail who will pay them for their power.

Riding Sunbeams hopes to demonstrate a new, fairer, greener way to do business and embody how a just transition is possible by bringing together charities, communities, corporates and Government to decarbonise and power the rail network.

The team proved the technical concept of powering railways directly by solar power with its First Light demonstrator project in Aldershot last year.

Riding Sunbeams is currently leading another First of a Kind project funded by Innovate UK and the Department for Transport, which aims to power electrified rail networks which run on alternating current (AC) power from overhead lines. 

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “It is fantastic to see pioneering projects that we have supported through our First of a Kind competition progressing their plans to decarbonise our railways.

“Harnessing innovation like this will be crucial to modernising the railway and making journeys greener and cleaner, and I welcome this vision becoming one step closer to reality.”

Ivan Stone, CEO of Riding Sunbeams, said the commercial investment will accelerate the company’s technical development and establish the appropriate commercial framework with rail system operators.

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry. Watch his presentation below:


Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


No comments have been made yet.

Related content

Office Address
  • Smart Transport
    Media House
    Lynch Wood
    PE2 6EA
Join the community
  • Smart Transport is the UK's most important brand to bring together senior public policy makers and influential private sector leaders to showcase real-time solutions aligned to government policy.
  • Find out more
  • Insight


Welcome to Smart Transport

Welcome to the Smart Transport website, keeping you up-to-date with the latest news, insight and reports from policymakers and thought leaders.

The Smart Transport brand connects policy to solutions by bringing national government and local authority policymakers together with private sector organisations.

Contact Lindsay Greatbatch for more information.

© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd
Media House, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA - Registered number 01176085 IPSO regulated logo


Smart Transport members

Smart Transport board members


Please note:
By submitting any material to us you are confirming that the material is your own original work or that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the material and to authorise Bauer Consumer Media to use it as described in this paragraph. You also promise that you have permission from anyone featured or
referred to in the submitted material to it being used by Bauer Consumer Media. If Bauer Consumer Media receives a claim from a copyright owner or a person
featured in any material you have sent us, we will inform that person that you have granted us permission to use the relevant material and you will be responsible for paying any amounts due to the copyright owner or featured person and/or for reimbursing Bauer Consumer Media for any losses it has suffered as a result.