Bristol Water has said it is investigating renewable energy projects throughout its supply area, including the potential for floating solar panels on its water storage reservoirs.
The company said it hopes that renewable energy will supply a “significant proportion” of the 80GWh the business uses every year to provide water to its 1.2 million customers.
To help achieve this, one potential project the company is considering is to install a floating solar farm on a water storage reservoir, with the most promising site at Barrow Gurney.
“Floating solar panel farms are a cutting-edge technology, with only a handful installed in the world so far, but water company reservoirs represent one of the best opportunities for this innovative approach to renewables,” the firm said.
“This is such an exciting project for Bristol Water, we are a major energy user in the area and we want to get as much of that as we can from renewable sources,” Bristol Water head of environment strategy Patric Bulmer added.
“Our reservoirs are a big asset in many ways, and now the technology for these floating solar panel farms is out there we want to look at this fully. It not only makes business and environmental sense but it makes sense for our customers as it will hopefully help keep water bills down.”
The company has appointed three contractors – HBS, ASC and Eneco – to investigate possible renewable energy projects, which also include wind turbines and solar panels, at sites such as the company’s head office in Bedminster Down.