17 March 2016: There has rightly been a lot of press around an innovative floating PV array which is currently being constructed in the west of London near Heathrow. The project has been covered in The Guardian, BBC, and a helpful video visiting the site has just recently been posted online by EnergyLiveNews.
Details of the solar array follow below:
- The project is being funded and developed by Lightsource and Ennoviga for Thames Water (see their press release here) at their Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, near Walton-on-Thames, in Surrey.
- The array will consist of 23,000 solar panels with a total generating capacity of 6.3MW
- The electricity will be used to part power Thames Water’s nearby water treatment works
- It’s not the first floating solar farm in the UK – that’s a United Utilities project in Manchester – but it is the biggest such scheme in Europe.
- Treehugger usefully mentions that “…the water keeps the solar panels cool, which helps the solar panels to perform better and last longer and the water itself benefits from the panels being there. In the case of reservoirs, the panels block out sunlight so it keeps algae growth to a minimum and reduces water evaporation to keep the reservoirs full.”
This project goes to highlight the hugely flexible nature of solar and the huge potential for PV that could exist across the capital across many sites when properly supported.