Water HQ switches to sunshine
South West Water (SWW) has completed the installation of solar panels on the roof of its Exeter headquarters. The work to install 860 panels on the roof of Peninsula House, Rydon Lane, started in August and was completed this month.
Each panel measures 1,650mm by 941mm and together they are capable of producing 210,000kWh of electricity each year, more than 10% of the building’s annual electricity use – all of which will be used on site. The scheme is part of SWW’s ongoing commitment to increase its renewable energy generation.
The company has already installed solar panels at 32 operational sites across Devon and Cornwall, and generated over 2M kWh of solar energy to date.
Project manager James Pearce said: “We installed our first batch of solar panels at six sites in December 2011 and until now all our arrays have been at water and sewage treatment works, so it’s great that we have been able to install panels at our head office.Adding more solar panels is part of our drive to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and help combat climate change.
“We also operate hydro-electric and biogas plants and a wind turbine, and the new solar panels will help to further develop our renewable energy capability.”
The savings from the reduction in electricity purchased from the national grid and the income from the feed-in tariff at some sites will help keep energy costs – which are ultimately passed on to the company’s customers – down.
SWW, which currently uses 250GWh of electricity each year, has undertaken a number of energy-saving initiatives across the business, including a pump-efficiency programme, a series of low-energy lighting refits and a regional optimisation of UV disinfection plants.
The utility currently generates approximately 19GWh of renewable electricity each year, and is working towards generating 30GWh/year by the end of 2015 and 50GWh by the end of 2020.
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