Our region’s flat geography means it takes a huge amount of power to take water from the environment, treat it and pump it to customers. We then need to collect, treat and return recycled water safely to the environment.
Generating electricity from renewable sources helps us significantly reduce carbon emissions, as well as cutting our operational costs. Renewable energy is a key step towards our ambitious goal of becoming a carbon neutral business by 2030:
By 2030 we aim to procure all our remaining grid electricity through green tariffs and other renewable sources
Last year we generated enough renewable energy to power 40k homes, as well as saving 230k tons of carbon
Currently we generate around 30% of our energy from renewable sources through things like bio-resources, wind and solar power. Our target over the next five years is to increase this to 44%.
Our ten sludge treatment centres use Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engines to create energy from gas released as a by-product of the water recycling process. By utilising these bio-resources we’re able to increase our renewable energy sources from a by-product that would have otherwise been wasted. Most of the renewable energy generated is used to power on-site operations, with any extra being exported to the local electricity networks. Not only that, but we also work with the agricultural industry to recycle these nutrients to land – another way we’re reducing waste.
We use land at our operational sites to create solar arrays and generate renewable energy. It’s an efficient way of maximising the space we have. We’re also trialling an energy storage solution that will allow us to store excess solar energy generated during the day in batteries and use it at other times, helping us to reduce our reliance on energy from the grid. It’s important that our sites are a safe space for wildlife too, which is why we undertake comprehensive ecological surveys to ensure that solar panels will exist in harmony with nature for the whole of their life span.
We have three existing wind turbines which generate about 14GWhs of energy per annum and we are continuing to explore wind power in places where it would be appropriate.