Floating solar panels on reservoirs

Bristol Water has this week announced plans to investigate renewable energy projects for throughout the water company’s supply area.  The investigation includes the potential for floating solar panels on water storage reservoirs, wind turbines and solar panels at sites such as the company’s Head Office in Bedminster Down.

Bristol Water hopes that renewable energy will supply a significant proportion of the 80 million kilowatt hours the business uses every year to provide water to its 1.2 million customers – and reduce the company’s carbon footprint while helping to keep water bills down.

One exciting potential project is an idea to install a floating solar panel farm on a water storage reservoir, with the most promising site at Barrow Gurney.  Floating solar panel farms are a cutting-edge technology, with only a handful installed in the world so far, but water company reservoirs represent one of the best opportunities for this innovative approach to renewables.  Bristol Water hopes to build on this developing expertise and take the challenge of renewable energy into the future.

‘This is such an exciting project for Bristol Water, we are a major energy user in the area and we want to get as much of that as we can from renewable sources. Our reservoirs are a big asset in many ways, and now the technology for these floating solar panel farms is out there we want to look at this fully. It not only makes business and environmental sense but it makes sense for our customers as it will hopefully help keep water bills down.’ Patric Bulmer, Head of Environment Strategy, Bristol Water.