The next runner up for the title “Europe’s largest floating solar array” belongs to Thames Water. Earlier this month, the utility company announced that they will be constructing a floating array on London’s Queen Elizabeth II reservoir.
Once built, the capacity of the array is expected to hit 6.3MW, which should generate 5.8 million kWh only in its first operational year. Translated into consumption figures, this energy should be sufficient to power around 1,800 homes.
The floating array will consist of more than 23,000 solar PV panels and will be manufactured by Ciel et Terre International. This company made a name for itself a few years ago, announcing that they will build the largest floating array in Japan. If it all goes to plan, the UK plant will not get the title of world’s largest, as the one on the Asian island is expected to have a capacity of 7.5 MW.
Nevertheless, the glory is still up for grabs in Europe, and Ciel et Terre are not planning to let anyone take it away from them. According to the company’s director for business development, Eva Pauly, the array will also be the first of its kind to be financed with money from an European bank.
It is interesting to note here that the array will not be providing electricity to the grid, or power homes. All energy that is generated will be used to power a water treatment plant, which according to Thames Water, will keep the prices down and the customers happy.
Thames Water, along with their partners on the project- Ennoviga Solar and Lightsource Renewable Energy, believe that the floating solar array is the only right way to go. It will be beneficial not only for their customers, but also for the environment.
The array should help Thames Water to reach their self-imposed target of producing one third of their own energy with renewables.
Image (c) Thames Water