Portsmouth Water has invested in solar photovoltaic technology to power six water treatment works. The 50kWp systems were designed and installed by Solarcentury to provide direct on-site electricity for pumping and treating water.

Portsmouth Water hopes that the solar investment will help insulate the utility provider from rising electricity costs. The income generated from the feed-in tariff will help the company increase its financial robustness and deliver a competitive return on investment.

The arrays are estimated to generate 42,500kWh a year, saving over £4,000 a year in electricity costs and 23 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted.

Nick Roadnight, Portsmouth Water’s Managing Director, said: “It is important that as a user of energy we look at all the potential options to reduce the amount of energy we have to take from the national grid and at the same time look to reduce our carbon footprint without of course placing any risk on our ability to supply water to our customers. The installation of solar panels on our sites achieves all of these objectives and with around a 25 years life span it helps the company have a more sustainable approach to energy use.”

Derry Newman, CEO of Solarcentury said: “Utility spaces like those owned by Portsmouth Water are ideal for solar. It makes good sense to put unused industrial space to work generating clean energy to treat waste water rather than creating more CO2 via conventional energy.  As energy costs increase, we’re confident many other private companies will look at upgrading their properties similarly. Congratulations to Portsmouth Water and everyone involved for making this happen in a very short time-scale.”