Despite a Government review of feed in tariffs for larger solar projects, medium- to large-scale solar power in the UK may not be quite dead-in-the-water as the industry had feared. IKEA has already announced plans to install 2MW of solar on its stores (alongside the purcahse of a 12MW wind farm), and now a water authority is planning to become the largest industrial user and producer of solar in the country—as the BBC reports that Thames Water has signed a deal to install 15 football pitches worth of solar on 3 sites in London. Exactly how big the array is is not clear from the BBC story, but it should be enough to power 1000 average sized homes, said the authority. Interestingly, given news of solar prices tumbling in the UK, the company seems confident this is a sound economic investment:
Solar panels are to be installed by Thames Water at three of its sites within the M25. It will fit them on the roof of the Beckton desalination plant in Newham, east London, and above storm tanks at Crossness in Bexley, south-east London.They will also be used on redundant sand filters at Walton treatment works in Sunbury, Surrey. The solar panels are expected to save an estimated £100,000 a year on the firm's £80m energy bill.