Solar panels are being installed to help reduce energy costs at six water treatment works across Scotland, including Forehill on the outskirts of Peterhead.
The installations at Scottish Water are part of a programme to increase the amount of renewable energy the public utility generates while reducing carbon emissions.
These projects come as Scottish Water supports Climate Week 2014, which is taking place this week, highlighting actions being taken across communities and businesses in the UK to protect the future environment and create a secure planet.
The Scottish Water solar panels are each capable of generating up to 0.2 GWh of electricity per year– which provides up to 25% of the power needed to power the water treatment works dependant on the size of the works in question.
Scottish Water already has four ‘self-sufficient water treatment works – in that they produce more energy than they actually use, using hydro turbines in pipes.
Scottish Water generates 28GWh of the 450GWh of electricity it needs every year to keep provide essential water and waste services across Scotland, and has ambitions to significantly increase this through a variety of technologies.
Small-scale wind turbines have also been installed on a number of sites, largely in the Highlands and Islands, while Scottish Water also recycles food waste, which makes a significant contribution to renewables self-generation.
Mark Williams, Head of Environmental Science and Regulation, said: “Climate Week 2014 highlights the importance of organisations large and small taking action to protect and enhance the environment.
“In the last seven years Scottish Water has achieved a 10% reduction in carbon emissions, despite continuing to improve performance and services.
“We recognise that, while continuing to deliver excellent and resilient service for customers and protecting Scotland’s natural environment well into the future, we must maintain the pace of improvement through energy efficiency, leakage management and investment in renewables, to play our part in tackling climate change.”
Chris Toop, General Manager for energy, added: “The development of our renewables programme continues apace in a sustained effort to keep the cost of essential services as low as possible in the long term.
“Having invested in technologies such as wind, hydro and food waste recycling, we are delighted to be in the process of commissioning solar panels at six of our water treatment works.”
Climate Week is Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future. Climate Week promotes ways that people can live and work more sustainably.