By The Numbers: Europe’s Largest Floating Solar Panel Array

The massive floating solar farm will help power water treatment plants that provide clean water for about 10 million Britons.

(Image Credit: Thames Water)
(Image Credit: Thames Water)

On the outskirts of London, construction is nearing completion on what will be Europe’s largest floating solar panel array.

Five years in the making, the solar farm is being installed in the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir and is the brainchild of Thames Water — a water company whose goal is to generate a third of its own energy by 2020.

In a release, 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.”

Here’s a closer look at this massive floating solar array, by the numbers.

8: This innovative mega-solar farm will cover around a tenth of the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir —enough to fill London’s famous 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium eight times over.

23,000: The floating array will be comprised of more than 23,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

177: More than 61,000 floats and exactly 177 anchors will serve as the platform for the massive solar array.

8 million: According to The Guardian, the five-year project has cost £6 million (or about $8 million).

1,800: At peak capacity, the floating panel array is expected to generate 5.8 million kWh in its first year, which is enough energy to power around 1,800 homes.

13.7: This floating solar power farm will be the world’s largest until Japan completes its even larger version in 2018, which will have a capacity of 13.7 megawatts (more than double London’s 6.3 megawatt array). 

Do you think that floating solar panel arrays could be another viable way to meet the increasing demand for renewable energy?

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