Major solar investment for wastewater facility near Glasgow

Scottish Water’s wastewater treatment facility in Erskine, near Glasgow, has been the focus of a major investment in solar power.

A £500,000 investment made by the utility’s commercial subsidiary Scottish Water Horizons has seen 1,720 solar PV panels installed at the works which serves around 114,600 people living in Erskine, Bishopton, Bridge of Weir, Elderslie, Houston, Howwood, Inchinnan, Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Kilmacolm and Linwood.

The carbon reducing technology will offset 15 percent of the electricity required to operate the facility, with the new solar PV system generating 0.36GWh of energy on an annual basis – that’s the same amount of energy needed to power one hundred homes for a year.

Ian Piggott, Project Manager at Scottish Water Horizons, headed up the initiative which is the third largest solar PV installation by Scottish Water Horizons to date.

Speaking about the project, he said: “This investment at Erskine Waste Water Treatment Works clearly demonstrates Scottish Water’s commitment to tackling climate change. Introducing sustainable solutions to reduce the utility’s carbon footprint is great news for the environment and also for our customers.

“The waste water treatment process is very energy intensive and so the solar technology that’s been installed here will benefit Scottish Water’s customers by driving down the operating costs of the works, thereby helping to keep 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, leading to lower operating costs and a more sustainable business. A major energy milestone was achieved in May of this 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 hour (GWh) per annum of renewable energy.

This new installation at the facility in Erskine contributes to the Scottish Government’s targets for renewable sources to generate the equivalent of 100 percent 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.