Scottish firm reaches UK high in facilitated generation

Scottish Water has revealed that it is leading the UK water industry for facilitated generation, with the firm hosting 923 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per annum of renewable energy.

The new figures are enough to power more than 300,000 homes for a year, prompting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to highlight the achievement in her speech last week to the All-Energy conference in Glasgow.

Scottish Water and consumes about 440 GWh per year of grid electricity at sites such as water and waste water treatment works.

The firm, which is one of the biggest users of electricity in Scotland, has achieved the energy efficiency figures through a range of initiatives, including self-generation on many of its sites, utilising new technology including hydro, wind, photovoltaic solar, biomass boilers and combined heat and power (CHP), and hosting third-party private generation such as large-scale windfarms.

The company’s increase in renewable power generation, which supports the Scottish Government’s ambitious renewable heat and carbon reduction targets, was welcomed by Roseanna Cunningham, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, who congratulated Scottish Water for achieving the 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.

“This helps to ensure that charges are kept as low as possible with average household water charges £42 lower in Scotland than they are in England and Wales.

“This work feeds into our environmental targets which will help make Scotland a cleaner and greener place to live and provide other businesses and public sector organisations with the confidence to invest in renewable power."

Fraser Purves, Energy Manager of Scottish Water’s energy programme, said Scottish Water was delighted to have reached the milestone in its efforts to reduce its energy bill and increase renewable generation.

“Facilitating more renewable power than we consume makes a significant contribution to keeping the long-term cost of providing vital water and waste water services as low as possible, while supporting national economic, carbon and renewable energy targets.”

The company has raised the annual financial benefits of its efforts to reduce its energy bill and increase renewable generation to more than £8m and facilitated more than £390m of private investment on its estate.

More than 70 of the company’s water and wastewater treatment works are either self-sufficient or partly sufficient in their power requirements, leading to lower operating costs and a more sustainable business.

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