Bristol Water to Consider Floating Solar Panels

Bristol Water says it is considering renewable energy projects in its supply area, one of which is floating solar panels on its water storage reservoirs.

The water supplier said it is hopeful that renewable energy sources will in future make up a significant amount of the 80GWh that the company uses each year in providing water to its 1.2 million customers.

In order to achieve this goal, one of the projects being considered by the company is the installation of a floating solar farm on a water storage reservoir, with Barrow Gurney currently looking like the most promising site for such a scheme.

The firm says that although there are only a few floating solar panel farms installed across the world so far, it expects to see a rise in the cutting edge technology over the next few years.

Bristol Water believes that water company reservoirs provide provide one of the best sites for the innovative approach to be performed.

Patric Bulmer, head of environment strategy at Bristol Water, said that Bristol Water is excited to be part of this project and that the company is striving to get as much of its energy as possible from renewable sources.

He added that the firm’s reservoirs are a big asset in various ways and now that the floating solar panel farm technology is out there, it is something the company will be fully exploring.

Mr Bulmer believes that the technology will benefit customers by keeping water bills down, as well as making sense for the company both environmentally and in a business sense.

In its investigations of potential renewable energy schemes, the company has hired three contractors who are Eneco, ASC and HBS.

They will also investigate solar panels and wind turbines as possible renewable energy projects at a number of sites in the area, such as Bedminster Down where the firm’s head office is situated.


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BDC 301 February 2023