Solar energy plan for Balmore water treatment works at Torrance

Scottish Water has unveiled plans to install its most ambitious solar energy scheme to date at a water treatment works at Torrance.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 2:52 pm
Scottish Water solar energy at Torrance, East dunbartonshire

The £3m investment by Scottish Water Horizons, the utility’s commercial subsidiary, would see 8,620 ground-mounted solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels installed at Balmore Water Treatment Works in Torrance – one of its most energy intensive assets.

Balmore is the largest treatment plant in Scottish Water’s portfolio and serves around 565,000 people. It treats water from Loch Lomond for supply to parts of East Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Falkirk and West Lothian.

The green technology being proposed, say Scottish Water, would offset 19 per cent of the electricity required to operate the facility, with the new solar PV scheme generating 4 GWh of energy a year – that’s enough energy to power around 1,300 standard UK homes. It would also save around 1,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per annum.

Dr Mark Williams, Sustainability and Climate Change Manager at Scottish Water, believes the scheme is an exciting opportunity.

He said: “Scottish Water has made an ambitious commitment to be a net zero greenhouse gas emissions water company over the next two decades.

“Capturing and using solar power is instrumental in helping to tackle climate change and reducing the carbon footprint of our operations.

“The renewable electricity that could be generated here in Torrance will go a long way towards helping Scottish Water reach both its net zero commitment, and a further goal to host or self-generate renewable power equivalent to three times our annual electricity

consumption by 2030.”

Electric vehicle charging facilities will also be installed at the facility to support the transition of the organisation’s 1,600-vehicle fleet of vans and tankers from fossil fuels to clean electricity.

Construction on the PV scheme could begin towards the end of the year subject to ongoing discussions with East Dunbartonshire Council.

Ecological surveys have been carried out to ensure any impact on the local environment is kept to a minimum.