First floating solar farm opens in the UK

3 Oct 2014

A fruit farm in Wargrave, Berkshire, has claimed to have built the first floating solar panel project and is now hoping to distribute the technology throughout the UK.

According to BBC reports, the structure consists of 800 panels mounted on plastic floats, which have been installed on a reservoir. The project cost £250,000 to construct, but will earn the farm money back in renewable electricity subsidies.

“We already have about 150 panels on the site and that powers our soft fruit production fridge, our tractor workshop and the industrial units,” said farmer Mark Bennett, who has established a company, Floating Solar UK, to distribute the technology.

“We built a reservoir at the beginning of the year to irrigate the soft fruit production on the farm and we wanted to piggyback on the back of that another solar panel system.”

Earlier this week, two new reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggested that solar power could become dominant energy source for the world by 2050 as solar panels become less expensive and more available to people in their homes.

Solar energy image via Shutterstock

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic