London Wraps Up Construction on Floating Solar Farm
In January, we brought you news of a massive floating solar farm in Japan, expected to be finished in 2018. While construction continues in the eastern Asian country, the UK is making moves of their own.
A 23,000-panel floating solar farm, with a 6.3 megawatt capacity, in London on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir is expected to be functional this month. Planning and construction has taken place over the past 5 years, costing about six million pounds. It will be the biggest floating solar farm in the UK, and until the farm in Japan is complete, it will also hold the world record.
While consumers typically think about solar panels harnessing energy to light homes and power electronics, this farm will focus on a different avenue. Fiona Harvey at the Guardian reports, "The energy will help provide clean drinking water to a populace of close to 10 million people in greater London and the south-east of England, a huge and often unrecognised drain on electricity, rather than nearby homes."
Since the reservoir is man made, displacement of animals due to the solar installation is not a concern. Any animals currently living in and around the water are incidental. Additionally, the panels will only take up 6% of the water's surface. These factors enable the installation's location to be ideal from an ecological standpoint.
The UK is continuing to make strides towards clean energy, despite national subsidies decreasing. There is a smaller farm being built on a reservoir outside of Manchester, but further projects require an analysis of costs to determine the viability of proceeding. As per the government's rulings, such structures implementing on land are not eligible for EU subsidies, though water installations have found ways around this legislature.
Source: The Guardian
Image: Martin Godwin for the Guardian