Environment

Thames Water building Europe's largest floating solar array

Thames Water building Europe's...
The array will comprise over 23,000 photovoltaic panels, and its floating platform will incorporate over 61,000 floats and 177 anchors
The array will comprise over 23,000 photovoltaic panels, and its floating platform will incorporate over 61,000 floats and 177 anchors
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The array will comprise over 23,000 photovoltaic panels, and its floating platform will incorporate over 61,000 floats and 177 anchors
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The array will comprise over 23,000 photovoltaic panels, and its floating platform will incorporate over 61,000 floats and 177 anchors

Europe's biggest-ever floating solar panel array is to be installed on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir in London. The array will have a peak capacity of 6.3 MW and is expected to generate 5.8 million kWh in its first year, which is enough to power around 1,800 homes.

Along with the announcement that Norway is to build Europe's largest onshore wind power project, the news reflects the ongoing move towards renewable energy. Despite this, the array is not actually being built to contribute towards the UK's energy demand, but instead towards that of water company Thames Water.

The array is part of the firm's aim to generate a third of its own energy by 2020, and is being built in partnership with Ennoviga Solar and Lightsource Renewable Energy. As of 2014/2015, Thames Water was generating 12.5 percent of its own energy and it is currently said to have solar panels on 41 of its sites.

The floating array will cover around a tenth of the 128.3-ha (317-ac) reservoir, utilising what is otherwise redundant space on the surface. It will comprise over 23,000 photovoltaic panels and its floating platform employ over 61,000 floats and 177 anchors.

Source: Thames Water

3 comments
ivan4
The one problem they tell you about is the need to clean the panels otherwise output is going to be drastically reduced more so because these will be on water and optimum vertical angle and orientation will be impossible to maintain. Another thing that is never disclosed on these projects is exactly how much extra the water customers are going to have to pay for this. I am certain it will not come out of company profits.
skeppy
What is the formula for calculating the amount of homes per Mwh? or the amount of Wh needed for 1 house. Every one of these articles I read has wildly differing numbers. Are they just pulling these figures out of the air? Are we talking about houses on LA or houses in Whykickamoocow?
Marc Stinebaugh
What a waste. There is FAR MORE potential for creating power just from the movement of the water itself, making solar a pointless endeavor.