Thames Water is installing a 6.3-MWp floating solar system on London's Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, which will cover about a tenth of the reservoir.
The energy produced by the facility will be used to help power a nearby water treatment facility. The project comprises 23,000 solar panels more than 61,000 floats and 177 anchors. I is expected to generate approximately 5.8 million kWh during the first year.
Thames Water has hired Lightsource to manage the installation of the solar system. The firm will also oversee the deployment of the solar panels. Nick Boyle, chief executive of Lightsource, said:
“We’re delighted to have begun work on another ambitious milestone project for Lightsource with our first floating solar installation. Over the last five years we’ve successfully completed ground and roof installations of all shapes and sizes, but this project has some obvious differences and has presented our team with a set of fresh challenges to overcome.”
Ciel et Terre International is the manufacturer of the floating mounting system. The company's business development head, Eva Pauly, stated:
"This is our largest project outside of Japan and the first one with European bank financing, proving that our technology is not only suitable for water utilities, but has also been recognised as bankable in Europe as well as Asia."
Angus Berry, energy manager for Thames Water, commented:
“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.”
“There is a great need from energy intensive industries to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as the amount they are spending on electricity and solar can be the perfect solution.”