The first hydro power generation unit of its kind for Northumbrian Water has been installed at a water treatment works.
Commissioning of the £1.3million hydro plant at Mosswood water treatment works near Consett, County Durham, is now underway after eight months of construction and technical challenges.
It is the latest green addition to the water company’s sustainable goal of renewable electricity generating excellence.
The new 185kw unit at the treatment works will create sufficient power to supply the equivalent of a large housing estate of some 300 homes. It will create enough power to meet a third of the electricity needed to run the entire treatment works and save £200,000 a year.
When added to government incentive scheme subsidies it means that the site’s power bill will be cost neutral.
The installation at the treatment works, which supplies some 700,000 customers in the Sunderland, South Tyneside and North Durham area, has been carried out by contractor JN Bentley.
Northumbrian Water already has the biggest hydro plant in England at Kielder Water and other electricity generating assets at Selset and Derwent reservoirs and at a treatment works in the Wear Valley and Darlington.
The water company is also at the forefront of the industry for creating power from sludge left after sewage treatment with the biggest advanced anaerobic digestion plant of its kind in the country operating at the mouth of the Tees and another under construction at the mouth of the Tyne.
These carbon reduction credentials won Northumbrian Water national recognition this week – officially designated as ‘Climate Change Week.’
It was awarded ‘Best initiative by a large business’ in the Climate Week Awards 2012 presented in London.
Climate Change Manager, David Chapman, said: “Northumbrian Water is committed to reduce carbon emissions by 35% by 2020 and utilising every opportunity at its reservoirs and treatment works to increase renewable energy generation.”
Northumbrian Water also had two internationally recognised indexes renewed this week.
It was confirmed as one of only 15 businesses in the country to gain Platinum Plus status in the Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility Index 2012.
It is also the only UK water utility to be designated as one of the Ethisphere World’s Most Ethical (WME) Companies 2012 - one of only seven solely UK-based companies to make the international list of 145 companies.
For media information contact Alistair Baker 0191 3016851 or 07711 793493.