HBS to install 11.6MWp of solar as Anglian Water continues PV push

The 849kWp install at Anglian Water's Jaywick Water Recycling Centre. Image: HBS.

HBS Group Southern is to install 11.6MWp of solar PV for Anglian Water as it continues its long-held partnership.

Installation of the 11.6MWp ground-mounted solar array commenced this week at what the water utility described as a “key operational site” in Huntingdonshire.

The 42,000 solar modules are set to generate over 26% of the electricity used by the works, which uses around 45 million kilowatt hours a year.

HBS is to install the panels for Anglian Water in partnership with Macquarie, an Anglian Water spokesperson confirmed to Solar Power Portal.

Anglian Water has a long standing relationship with HBS and Macquaire, having previously agreed a five year renewable energy framework that saw HBS New Energies developing assets with generating capacities between 200kW and 15MW, and Macquarie financing the assets backed by 25 year power purchase agreements.

As part of that project, HBS has installed solar arrays at Anglian Water’s Hall water treatment works in Lincolnshire and water recycling centres in Witham and Rayleigh in 2016, as well as a 500kWp site in 2018.

In December 2019, it was announced HBS had completed the installation of 894kWp of solar for the water company. However, Anglian Water also recently unveiled it has penned a power purchase agreement (PPA) for more than 35MW of solar with NextEnergy Capital.

Its 11.6MWp array, however, is separate from the renewable energy framework agreed with HBS and Macquarie. It is to supply the Grafham Water site with electricity to be used on site to help power essential operations, and is expected to be completed in June 2020.

David Riley, head of carbon neutrality at Anglian Water, said as population increases in the utility’s region of the East of England, the challenge is to address the increasing demand for its services sustainably, “and it's that challenge which underpins our ambitious renewable energy strategy”.

"We're using operational land we own at Grafham which isn't open to members of the public, so we aren't restricting visitor access and there won't be any impact on recreational activities such as walking, cycling, fishing or sailing," Riley added.

A range of technologies are playing a part in the utility's bid to become net zero by 2030, a commitment made by the water industry this week, including wind and solar as well as combined heat and power. However, it's solar which will see the biggest growth over the coming years, Anglian Water said.

The installation of the solar at Grafham Water is under permitted development rights which have been confirmed by Huntingdonshire District Council, it said.