Yorkshire Water has opened a tender for an eight-year solar framework agreement as it works to become net zero by 2030.

The ultility is looking for an agreement that would cover the development of bespoke solar PV arrays across 150 sites, covering the construction, operation and maintenance.

It will purchase the electricity to power its sites through a long-term private power purchase agreement (PPA), and surplus generation will be exported to the grid.

Yorkshire Water has said that those awarded onto the framework will then be able to bid for packages at different sites as they are released for development. This will be done in stages, with the first phase expected to begin in early 2021 and include the construction of 30 solar sites.

Scott Copley, sourcing and contracts manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “This is a significant investment in our sites and renewable energy.

“We’re hoping bidding companies will bring new and innovative ideas to the table to ensure the project is delivered efficiently and provides the energy saving benefits to our business as part of our commitment to be carbon net zero by 2030.”

The company estimates that the solar arrays will help to reduce its energy costs and save approximately 6,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent per year.

Yorkshire Water first showed an interest in solar back in 2015, when it announced it was plotting to construct ground-mounted solar arrays at two of its sewage and water treatment plants. The following year, it announced that it was tendering for up to £20 million for solar PPAs.

Bidders for what is expected to be a highly contested round have until 22 July to submit their tenders to participate.