May 13, 2008 Peter Richardson from Scottish architecture firm ZM Architecture has proposed using Solar Lily Pads on Glasgow’s River Clyde to soak up the sun’s rays and send electricity to the city's grid. The concept has taken first place in the International Design Awards, (IDA), ‘Land and Sea’ competition. The lilypads are designed to be moved and dismantled easily as they are simply tethered to the river bed, with integrated motors used to rotate the discs for maximum exposure to sunlight throughout the day.
ZM Architecture’s aim for the project was not only to reduce the carbon footprint of the city by harnessing the power of solar energy on a large scale to create energy that could be easily transformed and exported to the grid, but also to revitalize the urban waterfront and stimulate river activity.
While Glasgow may not be the first city that comes to mind when considering solar power alternatives, the Solar Lily Pad proposal impressed Glasgow’s City Council so much that it is now considering testing a small pilot project in conjunction with the Glasgow Science Centre.