United Utilities builds second floating solar farm, plans 22 new schemes


United Utilities is building a second floating solar farm.

The water company said the 1MW project, at Langthwaite reservoir near Lancaster, will ultimately provide all the power needed by Lancaster Water Treatment Works.

UU’s first floating scheme, the 3MW plant at Godley reservoir, was completed in 2016. The company is planning to invest in a further 22 solar PV projects totalling 24MW over the next two years. While none of these will be floating solar plants, the new PV plants will take its total spend on renewables projects towards £100m over the five year spending period to 2020.

The company’s current renewables portfolio totals 45MW, most of it solar. In conjunction with energy generated from CHP, hydro and biogas, the company generates around a quarter of its power needs.

UU recently reorganised its energy function to deliver an integrated approach to procurement, management, flexibility and resilience.

However, rather than export its solar to the grid (flexibility) United Utilities said it aims to use all the solar power it generates in-house to minimise bills and exposure to price volatility. 

Related stories:

United Utilities reorganises energy function

UU renewables output climbs 12% to 176GWh

United Utilities generates 18% of power from renewables, eyes more solar

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