‘Europe’s biggest’ floating solar panel project charges ahead in London
Eight football pitches worth of photovoltaic (PV) panels being installed now on a reservoir near London will generate enough energy to power 1,800 homes a year.
The project undertaken by the utility company Thames Water is the latest to lay claim to being Europe’s biggest ever floating solar panel array, and is part of the private firm’s bid to generate a third of its own energy by 2020.
“The energy produced won’t power houses but instead will help run a nearby water treatment plant which, the utility says, will help keep customers’ bills down.”
Just over 23,000 panels will be floated on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir at Walton-on-Thames, a suburban town west of London. The array will cover around a tenth of the reservoir’s surface area.
The array, developed by Thames Water, Ennoviga Solar and Lightsource Renewable Energy, will have a total installed peak capacity of 6.3 MW and is expected to generate 5.8 million kilowatt hours in its first year – equivalent to the annual consumption of around 1,800 homes.
At Walton-on-Thames, solar company Lightsource will install more than 61,000 floats and 177 anchors for the array.
Commissioned in 1962, the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir has a surface area of 128.3 hectares and a perimeter of 4.3km.