Affinity Water aims to increase its combined solar energy capacity to 23.5MW per year. Image: Affinity Water.

Affinity Water has announced that it plans to construct up to 28 more solar arrays sites in Phase Two of its solar energy efficiency programme.

This follows the conclusion of the water company’s first phase in September, which saw its first two solar power plants – in Surrey Chertsey and Walton – go live in April 2022 with a combined capacity of up to 1.58MW.

Since going live, Affinity Water have reported that the two Surrey solar sites have generated over 1,095MW of electricity, producing energy savings of more than £215,000.

The second phase of the solar programme, Affinity Water revealed, aims to increase this combined capacity to 23.5MW per year, delivering up to £2.8 million savings according to current electricity tariffs.

“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,” said asset strategy and capital delivery director at Affinity Water, Steve Plumb.

“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.”

This phase of the programme will also see Affinity Water partner with energy generation and distribution company, Vital Energi Ltd.

“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,” said Rob Callaghan, managing director of Vital Energi’s London and Southern division.

The solar energy efficiency programme is part of Affinity Water’s wider Renewables and Energy Efficiency Programme, which has the long-term aim of becoming operationally net zero by 2030 in terms of scope 1 & 2 emissions and wholly net zero by 2050, where it expects to invest £29 million into solar power.