UK to build Europe’s largest floating solar power system

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

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  1. I was under the impression that in Manchester it was more likely to be raining than sunny?

  2. Facilities like this in inner city areas should be used for recreational purposes. There’s plenty of moorland around Yorkshire & Scotland that could be used for solar panels, which 99% of the population wouldn’t even see!

  3. Floating solar plants are wonderful ideas. And it’s very important to maintain effectively same direction and position on the water for floating solar plants. Because directional change of solar panels reduces electricity production. So floating solar plants also need the directional control mooring systems for their parked positions. Azimuth and position change of floating solar plants caused by wind, waves and external forces. Restoring Force Strengthened Mooring System for floating solar plants has been created by INIWORLD in South Korea. This Mooring System generates Restoring Force immediately when floating solar plants are being rotated or moved on the water.

    In addition, you have to reduce vibration to install floating solar plants. Because, it can make micro-cracks to floating solar panels and the durability problem of floating solar plants. The risk of power loss in PV modules due to micro cracks is increasing. Vibrations caused by wind, waves and external forces. New Type Floating Body Stabilizer has been created in South Korea. The Floating Body Stabilizers generate drag force immediately when floating solar plants are being rolled, pitched and yawed on the water. You can see them in Ochang Dam natural reservoir, South Korea. INIWORLD

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