November 14, 2022 2.45 pm This story is over 17 months old

Floating solar panels considered as part of new Lincolnshire reservoir

Scheme aims for carbon neutrality

Floating solar panels could be installed as part of a new Lincolnshire reservoir which would supply at least 750,000 homes with water.

Anglian Water wants to create the new feature on fenland south of Sleaford, which would mean demolishing around 50 properties near Scredington.

The aim is to increase resilience against droughts across the region and reduce dependance on groundwater sources.

North Kesteven District Councillors last week questioned the scheme, including what environmental benefits would be created.

Lincolnshire Independent Councillor David Suiter noted that there would more than likely be leisure uses at the reservoir, creating additional traffic in the area.

He asked how the scheme would be carbon neutral, adding: “In Switzerland they’ve even put some solar panels onto a lake, so will you be making sure that everything is [carbon neutral], because we’re going to lose some agricultural lands – will there be the payback in the generation of energy?”

Proposed plans for the reservoir (pink areas are water and embankment, grey are infrastructure) | Photo: Anglian Water

Nick Walters, Anglian Water’s technical director on the project, said those behind the major build were aiming for carbon to be net zero.

“There’s a lot of work going on to understand the carbon impacts and assessments… we’d certainly be looking at renewable energy.

“You’re absolutely right, there are floating solar panels in some of the thinking, along with regular solar panels. That’s very much at the forefront.”

The reservoir would cover five square kilometres of Lincolnshire countryside | Photo: Google

During the meeting, councillors also took the opportunity to question the environmental impact of construction works, the locality of water supply, the support the local community would receive to mitigate the impacts, and whether residents would be left in limbo.

They were told that many aspects of the designs were still to be concluded and that consultation was ongoing.

Anglian Water is hoping to be able to refine the boundaries next year, once the consultation responses were in and would then be able to speak to affected residents.

At a recent consultation event in Scredington, residents have called for clarity and “more facts”  around the proposals.

Lincolnshire County Councillors have cautiously welcomed the move as “bold” but agreed they needed to ““hold the water company’s feet to the fire”.

MyLocal Lincolnshire is the new home of The Lincolnite. Download the app now.