The Spread of Floating Solar Farms

The Spread of Floating Solar Farms

Floating solar farms are spreading in popularity around the globe. This new approach to renewables - first conceptualised by PAULEY founder, Phil Pauley - is proving especially popular in countries with limited spare land and bad experiences with other energy alternatives, such as Japan.

A major floating solar farm has gone live in Japan this week. Located on a reservoir in Kato City, it comprise an astonishing 9,000 waterproof solar panels. The system is designed to generate an impressive 3,300 megawatt hours every year. This translates to the amount of energy required to power over 900 households. 

In March 2016, another, bigger floating solar farm will open near Tokyo, with the capacity to power almost 5,000 homes. 

What's the point? As outlined by Phil Pauley back in 2011-12, the cooling effect of the water beneath the panels helps them generate power more efficiently. In addition, they keep land free for agriculture, and it's worth noting that they could be more resistant to the effect of earthquakes - a big consideration in countries such as Japan. The farms also offer benefits back to the reservoirs they inhabit, by preventing evaporation and algae build-up. 

Similar projects are already underway in India, Brazil, Australia, California and the UK. Check out the video below to watch the UK's first floating solar farm take shape in Berkshire. 

Join The Discussion