Scottish Water has started work to install its first combined solar power and battery storage facility near its wastewater treatment works in Perth.
The £2 million project – the largest single solar investment announced by the water company’s subsidiary Scottish Water Horizons – is expected to provide around a quarter of the electricity needed to treat water that has been used by customers across the city.
A total of 2,520 solar panels will be installed on land adjoining the wastewater treatment works, at Sleepless Inch on the River Tay, with a combined generating capacity of just above 1MW and the batteries capable of storing up to 0.8MWh of energy.
The inclusion of battery storage will enable around 94% of the renewable power generated to be used on site.
The project is expected to reduce the carbon footprint of the treatment works by around 160 tonnes of CO2 per year – equivalent to offsetting 580,000 miles from an average passenger car.
It will also help reduce energy costs at the site by around 40%.
Donald MacBrayne, Scottish Water Horizons Business Development Manager said: “This project represents an exciting step forward in our work towards Scottish Water’s ambitious goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
“Perth’s wastewater treatment works at Sleepless Inch is a key site for Scottish Water, serving customers across the city. By installing energy storage, we can go even further in our use of self-generated renewable power, while also supporting the operation of the wider electricity system.
“Perth is right at the heart of Scotland and has its own emerging ambition to become the most sustainable small city in Europe. We hope this project and Scottish Water’s continuing journey towards net zero can support that goal.”
The project, due to go live in 2021, has been welcomed by the Scottish Government.
Environment and Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: “Congratulations to Scottish Water for transforming this facility in Perth. I hope it helps the city reach its goal of becoming the most sustainable small city in Europe. By opting for renewable power they are providing a great example to other companies and public sector bodies.
“Innovative projects like this not only help us reach our goal of zero emission by 2045 but also help to support the Scottish manufacturing industry, the creation of green jobs and a green recovery from COVID-19.”
The project is being developed by Absolute Solar and Wind, with the batteries supplied by Invinity Energy Systems.