Yorkshire Water plotting solar array projects

Yorkshire Water is plotting to construct ground-mounted solar arrays at two of its sewage and water treatment plants to help meet its energy demands.

The utility has submitted screening requests to York City Council to build two separate solar farms, one at its Narburn site and another at its water treatment facility in Elvington.

Documents submitted as part of the screening requests detail that the proposed array at Narburn would be approximately 2.6 hectares in size and generate 1.17MW while the array at Elvington would be slightly larger at 4 hectares, generating 2MW.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal, a spokesperson for Yorkshire Water's holding company, Kelda Water Services, said the planned farms were part of a larger programme of renewable energy projects the utility is pursuing.

“Treating waste water and producing clean drinking water are energy-intensive processes, so we've been assessing many different sites across the region to identify the best possible locations for solar schemes,” the spokesperson added.

The farms are to be built on land adjacent to the facilities and supporting documents submitted to the council have claimed the environmental impact of both projects would be minimal.

While no planning permission has been formally submitted as yet, Yorkshire Water is aiming to become one of the first water utilities in the UK to help power its treatment facilities through the use of renewable energy sources.

Yorkshire Water said it had conducted a number of feasibility studies on all of its sites to determine which ones would be ideal for the project before finding Narburn and Elvington to be the most “technically and economically viable”.

Kelda Water Services is to now consult with local stakeholders and residents over the coming weeks before finalising its plans ahead of applying for planning permission.