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Scottish Water Group records 12% rise in renewable energy use

Scottish Water Group has increased its renewable energy by 12% in the past year, as a growing number of its water and wastewater treatment works are now self-generating.

The latest milestone has helped the organisation make significant steps towards reductions in carbon emissions.

Scottish Water Group generated 52.98 GWh in 19/20 (Scottish Water Group includes Scottish Water Operations, Scottish Water Horizons and Scottish Water Grampian). This is enough to power around 16,500 homes a year.

This generation was up from 46.5 GWh in 18/19 – a 6.48 GWh increase.

Just under half of this – 25 GWh – supplied renewable power to 73 of our own sites located across Scotland. The rest was exported back to the national grid.

Scottish Water Group has increased self-generation at its sites every year for the last five years – up from 38.5 GWh over 2015/16 to the current 52.98 GWh for 19/20. 

Scottish Water energy manager Fraser Purves said: “With the many water and waste water assets we operate across Scotland we are one of the biggest users of electricity and we are continuing to harness new ways to reduce our reliance on grid power to make us greener and reduce operating costs.

“More and more of our infrastructure is providing various opportunities to deliver our service in a more sustainable way. To increase our renewable generation for the fifth year in a row demonstrates our commitment to operate in a greener manner – and puts us on course to reach our ambitious longer-term energy targets.”

Additionally, in the past year Scottish Water Horizons, the business arm of Scottish Water, launched four new PV schemes at sites across the country at Assynt, Camphill, Glenconvinth and Dunfermline. Invercannie WTW in Banchory, near Aberdeen, was the highest PV generator last year. Its 2,631 panels produced 0.54 GWh.

So far this year Scottish Water Horizons has installed a new ground-mounted PV scheme at Glassford’s service reservoir near Hamilton. By next April it will also have new schemes at Finmont service reservoir in Fife and at Inverness Water Treatment Works (WTW). Combined these have the capacity to generate almost 1 GWh.

Scottish Water Horizons business development and delivery manager Donald MacBrayne said: “In recent years we have significantly stepped up our work to invest in renewable technologies and have made a significant contribution to Scottish Water’s renewable programme.

“Looking forward we will significantly increase our activity to help us achieve the Scottish Water Horizons target of 90GWh of new low carbon generation by 2030.” 

Scottish Water is one of the biggest users of electricity in the country and consumes about 440 GWh per year of grid electricity at its sites. It committed to becoming net zero by 2040, five years ahead of the national milestone.

Topic: Sustainability & social value
Tags: renewables , emissions , Scottish Water

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