The Scottish Water board is enabling the generation of more renewable power than it consumes for the first time since it launched efforts to reduce its energy bill and increase renewable generation five years ago.
The utility is one of the biggest users of electricity in the country and requires about 445 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per year across 4,500 sites such as water and waste water treatment works. This is enough to power nearly 140,000 homes.
Through a combination of Scottish Water’s own investment in renewable energy and hosting private investment on its estate, new figures confirm that the company now generates and hosts more renewable power than it consumes annually and is on course to double this by 2018.
This increase in renewable power generation has been achieved by improving energy efficiency, increasing self-generation and hosting private renewable investment on the company’s estate.
Chris Toop, general manager of Scottish Water’s energy programme, said: “We have invested in a number of innovative measures such as low-carbon, low-cost treatment technologies and doubled our renewable energy capacity to more than 54GWh through hydro, wind, photovoltaic solar, biomass boilers and combined heat and power (CHP).
“We’ve also fitted more than 4000 smart meters to target energy opportunities and, in just three years, these have raised the annual financial benefits to more than £7 million, cut carbon emissions by 16% since 2006-7 and facilitated more than £330 million of private investment on our estate.”
Scottish Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham, added: “I am delighted that Scottish Water has met this significant milestone. By generating and hosting more renewable power than they consume, they are providing a great example to other companies of how improving energy efficiency and investing in renewable power can have a real impact.
“For them, renewable power is lowering their electricity bill – helping to keep customers’ water charges low.”