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In March 2016, Lightsource Renewable Energy successfully completed and connected Europe’s largest floating solar farm.
Solar PPA for London’s drinking water
The 6.3MW installation sits on the surface of the Queen Elizabeth the Second reservoir just outside of London, and is connected directly into Thames Water’s private network. The solar farm supplies green, renewable solar electricity to the utility company via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), satisfying around 20% of the plant’s energy needs, as part of Thames Water’s ambitious bid to self-generate a third of its own energy by 2020. The ambitious floating installation was a first for Lightsource.
A miracle of engineering
Drawing on the experience of our in-house team of engineers, planners and project managers, the company oversaw the deployment of an incredible amount of specialist equipment. 61,000 floats formed a platform for 23, 046 solar panels – the entire installation was constructed on the shore by Biosar, and then pushed out onto the reservoir. Once in position, the installation was fixed in place with 177 anchors, secured by professional divers. With a surface area of 57,000m2, the solar array covers less than 10% of the reservoir, but is able to generate 5.8 million kilowatt hours in one year, enough to power 1,800 homes.
For more information, see our press release.