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Southern Water

Renewable energy generation from wastewater

Renewable electricity and heat for eight
Southern Water wastewater treatment plants

Southern Water Services is the provider of water and wastewater services for Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Routed through a sewer network of 39,000km, 718 million litres of wastewater get treated and recycled at the company’s 368 treatment works every day.

The challenge

Southern Water aims to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency to enable the company to generate 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. Efficient generation is vital to support the water supply infrastructure and the success of this relies on effective technical and operational management of on-site energy plant to ensure maximum efficiency is maintained.

  • Generate 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020
  • Reduce carbon emissions
  • Energy efficiency

The solution

Through biogas-fuelled combined heat and power (CHP) technology, Veolia has been able to use renewable power from sewage treatment to generate electricity for Southern Water at eight of its wastewater treatment works. The projects included the design, supply, operation and maintenance of the CHP that use biogas, created during the wastewater and sewage treatment processes as a renewable fuel. The CHP systems deliver power and heat to the works with any surplus electricity exported to the National Grid.

Heat from the CHP is fed to the treatment tanks which also helps to speed up the bacterial digestion of organic matter
producing more biogas and increasing waste digestion.

Veolia provides 24/7 year round operational support and risk transfer to ensure the systems operate efficiently.

Value delivered

Cost savings, greatly reduced emissions, improved carbon footprint and better energy security.


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