UK water giant United Utilities is to build Europe’s largest floating solar power system on the Godley reservoir in Hyde, Greater Manchester. It is due to be the largest in Europe.
United Utilities has appointed contractor Forrest and system supplier Floating Solar UK to install the $5.4m, 3MW system.
Twelve thousand solar panels will cover an area of 45,500 square metres, creating the second largest floating solar array system in the world, after a facility in Japan.
The floating system is due to be installed, tested and operational before Christmas this year.
The 12-week project will provide United Utilities with 2.7 GWh per year of renewable, zero carbon power to be used directly by the site.
Chris Stubbs, head of renewable energy at United Utilities, said: "We have a target to generate 35 per cent of our power requirements by 2020 and this project will make a significant contribution to that aim.
"While floating solar has been deployed elsewhere around the world, most notably in Japan, it is a new technology to the UK.
"Installations will help us to keep energy costs and water customers’ bills low."
Mark Bennett, chief executive at Floating Solar UK, said: "The potential for these systems to change the UK’s solar landscape is huge and we expect many organisations with bodies of unused water are seriously considering installing them."
Image via Forrest