York, United Kingdom [ReneweableEnergyAccess.com] The latest solar technology is a key component of a £11 million (US$20.3 million) plan to transform one of the UK’s most important transport museums into a showcase for energy efficiency. Prime Minister Tony Blair helped celebrate the opening of the re-designed National Railway Museum (NRM) at Shildon, County Durham. Blair highlighted the importance of solar energy in the design of new buildings during his official opening address.The new museum facilities include a number of environmental initiatives based around The Locomotion project – a new 6,000 sq. meter building which features 60 vehicles. There is an array of BP Solar modules among a number of environmental initiatives incorporated into the roofing system, which will provide 35.4 kW clean and emissions-free energy, which is equal to the annual electricity usage of average homes. The solar electricity will be used to power interactive display points around the museum. The National Railway Museum’s main museum in York already incorporates a long list of new, good green practices. In July 2002 its board of trustees decided to champion sustainable development as a core value of the museum. The Locomotion project, which has the support of 14 sponsors including the Energy Savings Trust, involved the help of world-leading sustainability experts. Locomotion is officially recognized by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for its use of environmentally friendly, sustainable materials used in the museum’s construction. The project received an award for innovative use of ERDF funding.