Scottish waste water plant goes green

Jon Lawson

Adding to the list of Scottish Water treatment facilities now powered by green energy is Carbarns Waste Water Treatment Works in Wishaw. An investment of £430,000 made by the utility’s commercial subsidiary, Scottish Water Horizons, has led to a total of 1380 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels being installed on unused ground at the treatment works. It is Scottish Water’s fifth biggest PV scheme to date. 

The carbon reducing technology will offset 15% of the electricity required to operate the site, with the new solar PV system generating 0.27GWh of energy on an annual basis – that’s the same amount of energy needed to power 80 homes a year.

Ian Piggott, Project Manager at Scottish Water Horizons, headed up the initiative. He said: “We are committed to tackling climate change and reducing our carbon footprint. The introduction of sustainable, green energy at yet another one of Scottish Water’s sites will help us achieve this. 

“It’s also great news for customers. This technology helps drive down our operating costs at the works, helping to keep customer bills low.”

More than 70 of Scottish Water’s water and waste water treatment works are either self-sufficient or partly sufficient in their power requirements. A major energy milestone was achieved in May of last year after it was confirmed that the amount of renewable energy the company generates and facilitates is now more than double its electricity consumption.

Through a combination of Scottish Water’s own investment in renewable energy and hosting private investment on its estate, the company now generates and hosts around 923 Gigawatt hours (GWh) per annum of renewable energy.

This new installation at the treatment works in North Lanarkshire contributes to the Scottish Government’s targets for renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's gross annual electricity consumption by 2020. Renewable energy experts Absolute Solar and Wind Ltd delivered the project on behalf of Scottish Water Horizons. 

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