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United Utilities installs batteries at Preston plant

United Utilities has installed two giant rechargeable batteries at its Clifton Marsh wastewater treatment works in Preston, to help power the plant with its own solar energy.

An array of solar panels already in operation at Clifton Marsh will be connected to the supersize batteries, which will store the renewable electricity produced and power the site with it.

The 2MW batteries – each the size of a shipping container – will help United Utilities use electricity more efficiently and ensure that the plant, which serves 260,000 local homes and businesses, runs reliably 24 hours a day while protecting the environment from pollution. 

Steve Slavin, head of renewable energy at United Utilities, said: “Having an electricity storage facility on site means we can make the most of any available green energy. That’s good for the environment and good for our business.

“The batteries will allow us to help the National Grid even out the peaks and troughs in power demand throughout the day.  This is exactly the sort of innovation water companies need to be embracing if we are to meet the sector’s goal of zero net carbon emissions by 2030.”

The two rechargeable batteries at Preston are provided by Zenobē Energy. They will work in series, with the capacity to keep the plant running for three hours.

James Basden, co-founder of Zenobē Energy, said: “These batteries will provide a complete solution that will optimise any excess onsite solar, trade in a range of electricity markets to support National Grid, provide power resilience and save at least 6,700 tonnes of CO2 over the life of the 15 year contract.

“We’re proud that our end-to-end energy storage service is bringing significant environmental and financial benefits to customers and local communities.”

Topic: Innovation , Sustainability & social value , Wastewater quality
Tags: solar , storage , United Utilities , environment

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