United Utilities have started work on £3.5m floating solar farm at Godley Reservoir in Hyde, the second largest in world.
The power-generating project at Godley reservoir in Hyde, Tameside , dwarfs the UK’s only other water-based solar site in Berkshire and - even with Mancunian weather and could generate a significant amount of electricity.
Around 12,000 individual panels will cover an area of 45,500 square metres on the reservoir. Engineers hope to install, test and launch the operation before Christmas.
They will be constantly switched on and United Utilities hope the project will generate 2.7 GWh per year of renewable, zero-carbon power.
Video: The floating solar farm in Berkshire
Power generated will be used for local water works and in-house power.
Photo voltaic panels will be positioned on floating chambers in the water.
Chris Stubbs, head of renewable energy at United Utilities, said it would be the second biggest in the world, after a scheme in Japan.
He said: “We have a target to generate 35 per cent of our power requirements by 2020 and this project will make a significant contribution to that aim.
"As part of United Utilities’ energy strategy to generate more power we identified the Godley reservoir as a suitable site to install a floating solar array to provide the water treatment works with approximately 33 per cent of its energy requirements.
“While floating solar has been deployed elsewhere around the world, most notably in Japan, it is a new technology to the UK.
"Installations such as the Godley solar scheme will help us to keep energy costs and water customers’ bills low.”