Image: Forrest.

Southern Water has appointed Forrest as the sole contractor to work on a five-year renewable energy framework which will see the utility install solar across its portfolio.

Under the contract Forrest’s energy division will design, supply, install, operate and maintain ground and roof-mounted solar systems to help Southern Water increase the amount of renewable energy it produces on-site.

Southern Water has already identified three such projects; a 1.9MW ground-mount solar array at Testwood Water Supply Works, a 1.5MW project at the company’s site in Otterbourne and an 850kW project in Hardham.

Work is already underway at Testwood and the three projects are expected to generate around 4.3GWh of electricity each year.

Martin Ross, energy manager at Southern Water, said utilising solar energy was “very much part” of a long-term strategy to it becoming a more sustainable business.

“Utility companies are energy intensive and there is a need for us all to reduce our carbon footprint and become less reliant on the grid.

“These schemes are part of a much bigger package of work already in place. 17% of our total energy use now comes from renewable sources, putting us among the best in the industry. We also have achieved our fourth Carbon Trust Standard accreditation in recognition of our work,” he said.