Scottish Water has installed 1,000 solar panels at a major water treatment works in Scotland.
The project is expected to generate 0.2GWh of electricity every year, providing a quarter of the energy required at Marchbank Water Treatment Works which serves 68,000 properties in Edinburgh and parts of West Lothian.
The treatment plant currently produces 40 mega litres of water every year – enough to fill 16 Olympic swimming pools.
The project is part of the water company’s efforts to reduce energy usage as well as costs.
Scottish Water claims to have reduced base electricity consumption by more than 5% in the last five years and cut emissions by 18% since 2006/07.
It adds it has also doubled the amount of renewable energy generation at its treatment works and water mains to more than 50GWh using a combination of solar, wind and hydro plants.
Chris Toop, General Manager for Scottish Water’s energy programme said: “Every day, Scottish Water provides our customers with a massive 1.34 billion litres of drinking water and then treats over 840 million litres of wastewater. This means we currently need around 440GWh of electricity annually around Scotland – more than is likely to be needed by the entire of population of West Lothian.
“Electricity, as any consumer will know, can be expensive and that’s why Scottish Water has been working to reduce the amount of energy that we need to purchase. We are confident that the installation of solar panels will enable us to continue to reduce energy consumption and ultimately keep costs low for our customers.”
Last month ELN visited Europe’s largest floating solar array in Greater London, which is providing power to Thames Water’s treatment plant in Hampton.