Scottish Water uses solar power to reduce treatment costs
Scottish Water is installing solar panels to help reduce energy costs at six water treatment works across Scotland. The projects come as Scottish Water supports Climate Week 2014, taking place this week.
The installations at Scottish Water are at sites in West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Aberdeenshire, the Highlands, and Aberdeen, and are part of a programme to increase the amount of renewable energy the public utility generates while reducing carbon emissions.
The solar panels are each capable of generating up to 0.2 GWh of electricity per year, which provides up to 25% of the power needed to power the water treatment works dependant the size of the facility.
The solar panels being installed are expected to be operational in the next three months. At Carron Valley (North Lanarkshire), Blairlinnans (West Dunbartonshire) and Balmore (Glasgow) Water Treatment Works, the panels have been installed on the roof of the buildings. At Forehill (Peterhead), Mannofield (Aberdeen) and Spey Valley (near Aviemore), the panels are all free-standing, ground-mounted installations within the water treatment work sites.
Mark Williams, head of Environmental Science and Regulation, said: “In the last seven years Scottish Water has achieved a 10% reduction in carbon emissions, despite continuing to improve performance and services. We recognise that, while continuing to deliver excellent and resilient service for customers and protecting Scotland’s natural environment well into the future, we must maintain the pace of improvement through energy efficiency, leakage management and investment in renewables, to play our part in tackling climate change.”
Chris Toop, general manager for energy, added: “The development of our renewables programme continues apace in a sustained effort to keep the cost of essential services as low as possible in the long term. Having invested in technologies such as wind, hydro and food waste recycling, we are delighted to be in the process of commissioning solar panels at six of our water treatment works.”
Scottish Water generates 28GWh of the 450GWh of electricity it needs every year to keep provide essential water and waste services across Scotland. Small-scale wind turbines have also been installed on a number of sites, largely in the Highlands and Islands, while Scottish Water also recycles food waste, which makes a significant contribution to renewables self-generation.
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