South West Water powers the west country with green energy!
As the 21st Century gets into full swing, the current global energy crisis and issues of climate change are at the forefront of international and individual consciousness. South West Water believes that as a major utility company in one of the most beautiful corners of the world, we have a responsibility to use our resources to help promote clean, green, renewable energy.
As part of our massive contribution to the preservation and protection of the environment, South West Water now generates 5.73 MW of energy through hydro electric power and 1.46 MW through Combined Heat and Power (CHP –biogas), which is a bi-product of our sewage treatment process. This combined energy production is enough to power a town the size of Bideford or Ivybridge, both with a population of over 12,000 people.
Mary Tavy hydro electric power station is the biggest renewable energy site belonging to South West Water and produces one third of our renewable energy; enough to serve 2,500 properties, a population akin to the town of Crediton.
So successful is Mary Tavy that on Tuesday 4 April Keith Taylor, one of the two principle speakers for the Green Party, will be making a trip to visit this incredibly productive hydro scheme. The visit is taking place as part of a nationwide tour to examine the case for renewable energy as a means to ease the ever increasing energy crisis.
Surprising as it may seem, there has been some form of hydro power generated at Mary Tavy since 1932, when the site was first commissioned. Over the last 75 years, the primitive mill wheels have gradually been replaced with the latest technology. Now Mary Tavy is a highly effective Hydro Electric Power Station, with six turbines and a combined capacity of 2,610 kilowatts. The turbines are powered by river water, collected in two reservoirs on Dartmoor and then sent via gravity down two pipelines that feed the hydro turbines.
The company has a further six hydro electric schemes, including two smaller power stations at Morwellham and Chagford and a very successful hydro scheme at Roadford Reservoir. We also have seven CHP -biogas plants currently in operation at major treatment works across the region.
South West Water is a company who invest in the future, a future where we are committed to more green generation, more green energy purchases and increased energy efficiency to reduce our CO2 emissions. As a result, we are always on the lookout for new ways to utilise renewable energy sources and as a result of the success of our hydro power and CHP schemes, we believe we have already made a significant start.
If members of the press would like find out more about South West Water's ongoing investment in renewable energy, or be a part of the visit to Mary Tavy on Tuesday 4 April, please contact Louise Bennett in the South West Water press office on 01392 443021.
Notes to editors
- South West Water is a part of the Pennon Group Plc, a company that puts more power back into the national grid than it uses. 'Green' energy offsets the Pennon Group's overall dependence upon fossil fuel energy making it self sufficient.
- Pennon achieves this energy generation through its subsidiaries South West Water and Viridor Waste. Viridor generate over 50MW of energy every year through landfill gas.
- In Devon alone Pennon generate the following energy through renewable sources.
- The Pennon Group has been a net exporter of energy for over six years and makes a considerable contribution to the Government's target of 10% electricity usage from renewable sources by 2010.
Published: 03 April 2006