Affinity Water ramps up its investment in solar energy as it prepares for net zero by 2030

Affinity Water plans to construct more Solar arrays up to a further 28 sites during Phase 2 of its Solar energy efficiency programme.  

In September Affinity Water announced the successful completion of  Phase 1 of its Solar Programme with the energisation of the first 2 solar power plants, at its Surrey Chertsey and Walton sites. These sites have been up and running since April 2022 and are generating up to 1.58MW (megawatt) of renewable energy to help power its energy-intensive processes.

In the summer of 2022 these arrays took full advantage of the good weather and produced a daily average of 7,640 Kilowatt Hours (kWh)of electricity throughout June. Since April 2022 the combined arrays have generated more than 1,095 MWh of electricity, saving more than £215,000 in energy costs.

The success of these first sites represent a significant step in Affinity Water’s ambitious plan to be operationally net zero by 2030 (scope 1 & 2 emissions) and net zero by 2050 where they anticipate investing £29M in solar power, and is the first step in the delivery of their wider Renewables and Energy Efficiency Programme.

The aim is to increase the current 1.58MW per year combined output from Chertsey and Walton, to generate up to 23.5 MW per year. In real terms this will deliver a reduction in Affinity Water’s carbon footprint of approximately 75,011 tCO2e over a 20-year asset life and savings of up to £2.8M based on current electricity tariffs.

In the second phase Affinity Water will partner with Vital Energi Ltd. This significant undertaking will increase Affinity Water’s capability to produce clean and renewable energy from its ongoing solar programme.

Steve Plumb, Asset Strategy and Capital Delivery Director at Affinity Water said:

“We plan to roll out phase 2 to help us generate up to 10 per cent of our electricity through solar. We also have some further large-scale proposals that we are excited about and want to develop in the future. We are showing our commitment to achieving carbon net zero.

“Phase 1 and Phase 2 combined will deliver significant carbon reduction in line with our 2030 Net Zero Strategy, and reduce our exposure to volatile energy price risk in the future (both commodity and grid elements), and create a more cost efficient operating business going forward.

“Both our sites at Walton and Chertsey are now live and producing clean and sustainable energy for us to use and in phase 2 we can ramp up our reliance on solar energy and our savings”.

Ben Hayward, Affinity Water’s Programme Delivery Manager said:

“Energy is the second largest cost to our business and has increased significantly in recent months due to global supply factors, it is also a significant contributor to our carbon footprint. This cost pressure alongside the need to transition to a Net Zero business by 2030 means that saving energy is essential for our business both now and into the future. Our plans will look at our asset infrastructure, improve our energy data and insight, and build resilience while developing our people and culture”.

Rob Callaghan, Managing Director of Vital Energi’s London and Southern division, said:

“We’re delighted to be helping Affinity Water on their decarbonisation journey through the installation of solar across their sites. Due to the nature of their business, Affinity Water are high energy users, however as their pumping stations sit on large areas of land, harnessing solar energy is the perfect solution to kickstart their move towards decarbonisation”.

As future phases deliver further installations of solar energy, Affinity Water will also be using wind power and battery storage solutions across its sites and the transition of its fleet to Electric Vehicles.

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