12,000 floating solar panels could be erected on the surface of a Lancaster reservoir.
United Utilities have applied for planning permission to construct the panels on the 1.2km wide Langthwaite Reservoir, off Littlefell Lane, Scotforth.
The panels would be connected via supporting frames half a metre above the surface, anchored to the bed of the lake adjacent to the water company’s treatment works.
The facility would provide enough power for 320 homes, but would be used to supplement United Utilities’ electrical needs.
The company said in its application: “United Utilities and all other regulated water companies have been challenged by OFWAT to maintain or reduce end users (general public) water and waste bills.
“The energy which UU uses to provide drinking water and waste water services has increased by a multiple of 2.5 times in real terms in the last ten years.
“By investing in renewable technologies such as solar, this protects the business and hence end users from energy price inflation, therefore contributing towards maintaining or reducing bills.
“The use of renewable energy at the Langthwaite Reservoir Water Treatment Works would save approximately 576 tonnes of CO2 per annum and would make an
important contribution to meeting the needs of the WTW itself, with wider renewable energy benefits.”
Langthwaite Reservoir is an open reservoir containing partially treated water. Water is abstracted prior to treatment at the Water Treatment Works before entering the water network.
Langthwaite reservoir was opened by the Duke of Kent in 1935.