South West Water reaches million milestone in solar power.

SOUTH West Water has installed solar panels at sewage treatment works in Yelland, and Woolacombe.

The photovoltaic (PV) cells were also fitted at Horedown Water Treatment Works, near Ilfracombe, as well as at four other operational sites in Devon last month.

The company is now generating in excess of a million kilowatt hours of solar energy at 30 sites around the South West.

The 150 kW installation at Yelland is the company’s biggest to date.

The power generated by the panels will be used to help power the treatment works. The company says savings from the reduction in electricity purchased from the national grid, and the income from the feed-in tariff, will help keep energy costs down at each site.

James Pearce, project manager for South West Water’s H5O partnership, said: “We installed our first batch of solar panels at six sites in December 2011, and added another 17 sites in March last year.

“To have generated over a million kilowatt hours of green energy is a fantastic achievement and is helping us to reduce electricity costs at these sites.

“Adding more solar panels is part of our drive to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and help combat climate change. “We also operate hydro-electric and biogas plants and a wind turbine, and the new solar panels will help to further develop our renewable energy capability.”