Work begins on solar development at Scottish Water plant

Work begins on solar development at Scottish Water plant

The Balmore site in Torrance, East Dunbartonshire

A major new solar energy development at Scottish Water’s most energy-intensive asset is now under construction.

The £5 million investment by Scottish Water Horizons, the utility’s commercial subsidiary, will see 8,448 ground-mounted solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels installed at Balmore Water Treatment Works in Torrance, East Dunbartonshire.

Local renewable energy solutions specialist FES Group is delivering the scheme on behalf of Scottish Water Horizons

Balmore is one of the largest treatment plants in Scottish Water’s portfolio and serves around 565,000 people. It has the ability to treat water from Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond for supply to parts of East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, the Falkirk and Grangemouth areas, and West Lothian.

The green technology being installed there will offset 19 per cent of the electricity required to operate the facility, with the new solar PV scheme generating 4.4 GWh of energy per annum. It will also save around 1,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year.

Donald MacBrayne, business development and delivery manager at Scottish Water Horizons, said: “The fact that Scottish Water owns such a significant land and property portfolio means it makes great sense for us to harness these assets to generate green energy.

“In addition to the thousands of PV panels, we’re installing electric vehicle charging facilities at the site to support the transition of the organisation’s 1,500-vehicle fleet of vans and tankers from fossil fuels to clean electricity.

“This solar scheme at Balmore Water Treatment Works is a perfect example of how we can develop existing assets to make a significant contribution to lowering our carbon footprint for the benefit of customers and the environment.”

Dr Mark Williams, sustainability and climate change manager at Scottish Water, added: “Capturing and using solar power is instrumental in tackling climate change and reducing the carbon footprint of our operations.

“The process of treating water is extremely energy intensive. Once fully operational, this scheme will make a huge contribution towards helping Scottish Water reach its commitment of becoming a net zero greenhouse gas emissions water company over the next two decades.

“The renewable electricity generated at this site in Torrance will also help us achieve our goal to host or self-generate renewable power equivalent to three times our annual electricity consumption by 2030.”

Scottish Water already has a portfolio of more than 76 water and waste water treatment works which are either self-sufficient or partly sufficient in their power requirements.

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