Scottish Water has taken another step in reducing its carbon emissions through a £700,000 investment to triple the solar energy production at Kirkcaldy Waste Water Treatment Works in Fife.
An additional 1,300 solar photo voltaic (PV) panels with an energy generating capacity of 0.41Gigawatt hours (GWh), have been installed bringing the total number of panels on site to over 2,300.
The installation includes 128 innovative bifacial solar panels. These panels produce power from light striking both sides, producing more power and taking up less space than traditional panels.
This investment, delivered by the company’s commercial subsidiary, Scottish Water Horizons, will enable the whole site to offset 14% of its energy needs. This will bring down the cost of running the site in the long term and save the equivalent of 100 tonnes of carbon each year, the same amount as a passenger jet flying from Edinburgh to New York 63 times.
Debbie Henderson, Scottish Water Horizons Renewables Team Lead, said:
“This significant investment in Kirkcaldy Waste Water Treatment Works is a fantastic example of how we can utilise the space on our sites more effectively to produce solar power.
“Solar panel technology has come on leaps and bounds over recent years and the bifacial technology which is being used onsite means we can produce more electricity with a significantly smaller footprint.”
The total solar PV array is now able to generate 0.6GWh on an annual basis which is the equivalent amount of energy needed to power 600,000 mobile phones a year.
Greg Russell, Waste Water operations team leader, added:
“Scottish Water has committed to reaching the ambitious target of net zero total emissions by 2040. Installing green technologies such as solar arrays on our operational sites helps us to achieve this. It also means that customers in the local area are receiving a greener and more sustainable waste water service.”
Kirkcaldy joins a long list of solar PV schemes already up and running at many Scottish Water assets across Scotland. To date, 21 Mega Watts of solar PV power has been installed at 62 sites, generating 17.2 GWh of renewable energy every year.
The project was delivered by renewable energy solutions specialists Absolute Solar and Power on behalf of Scottish Water Horizons.