One of London's largest freshwater reservoirs, Queen Elizabeth II, is now partly covered with solar panels. Thames Water floating solar power plant that is being built will produce 6.3 megawatts of electricity and supply 1800 households in London.
When all panels are mounted the construction will be the second largest floating photovoltaic plant in the world, next to a plant southeast of Tokyo, which is also under construction. In the Japanese plant 51,000 solar cells will be spread over an area of 180,000 square meters, generating around 13.7 megawatts as early as 2018. In Brazil, a 350 MW floating solar park is planned on the Amazon River.
Although floating solar power plant will cost much more than land-based plants, they have the advantage of having plenty of natural cooling effect, because of the huge mass of water underneath the solar collectors. This improves the efficiency of the solar cells significantly. In addition, less dust will fasten on the panels when they are placed on the water surface. In London, the 23,000 solar cells are mounted on 61,000 pontoons, which are attached to the bottom of the pond with 177 anchors.