Floating solar panels suggestion for new Lincolnshire reservoir

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

Land near Scredington proposed for the new reservoir.
Land near Scredington proposed for the new reservoir.

Anglian Water wants to create the new feature on fenland south of Sleaford in a bid which would mean the demolition of around 50 properties near Scredington.

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

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

Suggested uses and benefits around the proposed reservoir.

Lincolnshire Independent Coun David Suiter noted that as well as construction traffic during the build, there would more than likely be leisure uses at the reservoir creating additional traffic.

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?”

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.

A profile of how the landscaping around the new reservoir.

“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 of thinking.”

During the meeting on Thursday night, 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.

Bosses are hoping they will 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 said agreed they needed to ““hold the water company’s feet to the fire”.