In March 2016, Lightsource installed Europe’s largest ever solar PV system on a deep body of water. With a surface area of 57,000 square meters, and containing 23,046 solar panels on the surface of the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir in Surrey, powering Thames Water via private wire, this floating solar farm is the third largest on the planet, according to Solarplaza.

More and more PV plants across the world are being installed on water. Only three floating solar plants had ever been built before 2014. Over the past two years this number has grown to over 70 plants spread across the world, which has led many people to believe that this is the potential start of a new PV boom. These so called ‘floating solar systems’ (or ‘floatovoltaics’) are an appropriate solution to situations where roof and/or ground space is limited. But just how big is this niche? Where are these floating plants located and what is their size?

 

Rank Size (kw) Name of reservior (lake) / Name of Plant Country City/Province Operating from
1 20000 Coal mining subsidence area of Huainan City China Anhui Province April, 2016
2 7500 Kawashima Taiyou to shizen no megumi Solarpark Japan Saitama October, 2015
3 6338 Queen Elizabeth II reservoir UK London March, 2016
4 3000 Otae Province South Korea Sangju City Gyeongsang Bukdo October, 2015
5 3000 Jipyeong Province South Korea Sangju City Gyeongsang Bukdo October, 2015
6 2991 Godley Reservoir Floating Solar PV UK Godley January, 2016
7 2449 Tsuga Ike Japan Mie August, 2016
8 2398 Sohara Ike Japan Mie March, 2016
9 2313 Sakasama Ike Japan Hyogo April, 2015
10 2000 Reservior in Kumagaya city Japan Saitama December, 2014
11 2000 Kinuura Lumberyard Japan Aichi February, 2016
12 2000 Yado Ooike (Sun Lakes Yado) Japan Hyogo January, 2016
13 1751 Hirono Shinike Japan Hyogo September, 2016
14 1708 Yakenoike Japan Hyogo July, 2016
15 1700 Nishi Hiraike Japan Hyogo April, 2015

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