The Current World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm, On London’s Queen Elizabeth II’s Reservoir


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Thames water EU's and World's (as of April, 2016) largest floating solar farm QE-press-release credit Thames water

Thames water EU’s and World’s (as of April, 2016) largest floating solar farm QE-press-release credit Thames water

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A quick note to let you know that the currently (as of April, 2016) World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm/Panel Array had been installed on London’s Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, near Walton-on-Thames, as part of Thames Water’s goal to self-generate a third of its own energy by 2020. The array features 23,046 solar panels and measures 57,500 sq meters ( or 618,925 sq ft). The reservoir is run by Thames Water.  The solar farm is funded and operated by Ennoviga Solar and Lightsource Renewable Energy. The low carbon, solar energy produced will be used to power the nearby water treatment works to help reduce the power bills for drinking water. It will have a total installed peak capacity of 6.3 megawatts and is expected to generate 5.8 million kilowatt hours in its first year – equivalent to the annual consumption of around 1,800 homes.

Thames Water’s energy manager, Angus Berry said:
Becoming a more sustainable business is integral to our long term strategy and this innovative new project brings us one step closer to achieving our goal – this is the right thing for our customers, the right thing for our stakeholders and most importantly the right thing for the environment.”

The advantage of a floating array is the fact that the water would provide the welcomed benefit of cooling the solar arrays, in addition to not taking up space from agricultural area.

The British may still have the largest floating solar farm in Europe by 2018, but the title for the World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm may soon be replaced by the Japanese floating reservoir  (the floating array on Yamakura Dam) with twice the size of Queen Elizabeth II reservoir in 2018.

The floating array on Yamakura Dam in Chiba Prefecture, will measure 180,000 sq meters and 13.7 MW, upon completion. Since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Japan has created a number of solar farms on water as it has turned away from nuclear power, and land is in short supply. Considering the desirability of reducing evaporation from the reservoir through having solar panels above and cooling of the solar panels from water below, the concept of floating solar farm is simply a Win-Win phenomenon!




~have a bright and sunny day~
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Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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