Solar panel project at Brechin

Pictured from left - Eddie Johnstone, Chris Toop and Steven Scott.''''Picture by Michal Wachucik / Abermedia
Pictured from left - Eddie Johnstone, Chris Toop and Steven Scott.''''Picture by Michal Wachucik / Abermedia

Scottish Water has boosted its green energy ratings with a new 1000-panel solar farm.

The eco-project at Brechin, Angus can produce enough electricity for 200,000 washing machines and will now power a wastewater treatment plant.

Water bosses announced the green scheme to mark Climate Week 2016 as they push to make services resilient against climate change.

Chris Toop, General Manager for Scottish Water’s energy programme, said: “Every day we treat over 840-million litres of wastewater.

“We need around 440GWh of electricity annually around Scotland.

“Electricity can be expensive and that’s why Scottish Water has been reducing the amount of energy we need to purchase.

“Installing solar panels at Brechin is fantastic - it’s one of the ways to keep customer charges lower than the UK average.”

Scottish Water already has 24 solar farms, 26 sites with hydro-turbines and 18 wind turbine sites to power treatment works across the country

Increasing the use, and variety, of renewable power means £6m in running costs can be saved every year as it slashes the electricity bought from the Grid.

Scottish Water Horizons (SWH), a subsidiary of the utility, delivered the technology to make the latest project possible.

Andrew Macdonald, Head of SWH, said: “Through use of technologies such as solar panels, several of our water works can now generate at least all, and in some cases more, of the energy they need to operate.

“We’re pleased to be working with experts in the sector to improve our provision of renewable energy and help to maintain Scottish Water’s place as one of the best value providers of water in the UK.”

In December 2015 Scottish Water earned a Scottish Green Energy Award.

Since it started in 2002, Scottish Water has already invested more than £1 billion in projects that enhance the environment.

It has so far installed more than 4000 smart meters to measure consumption which helps reduce energy and costs for customers.

Scottish Water Horizons owns a food waste recycling plant in Cumbernauld that reduces harmful landfill emissions and produces enough bio-gas to power 2000 homes.

Experts are also currently looking into ways of harnessing energy from septic tank sludge.