Water company United Utilities is installing Europe's largest floating solar power system on a reservoir in Greater Manchester, as the company tries to reduce energy costs.
The 12,000 panel, £3.5m project will be the UK's largest solar power site, dwarfing an 800-panel structure in Berkshire. It's also the second biggest floating solar farm in the world after a scheme in Japan.
The 45,500 sq-m site, which will cut customers' water bills, is due to be completed before Christmas. This will help it evade the UK government's plans to introduce regulation reducing subsidies for new solar farms, a move which has sparked outrage across the industry.
"As part of United Utilities’ energy strategy to generate more power, we identified the Godley reservoir as a suitable site to install a floating solar array to provide the water treatment works with approximately 33 per cent of its energy requirements," Chris Stubbs, head of renewable energy at United Utilities, said.
"While floating solar has been deployed elsewhere around the world, most notably in Japan, it is a new technology to the UK. Installations such as the Godley solar scheme will help us to keep energy costs and water customers’ bills low."