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Capable of producing 600 MWh of electricity each year, the technology known as Difgen is located in a strategic trunk water main at Denny, near Falkirk, reducing the amount of electricity the water firm needs to buy from the National Grid.

The new technology can be installed where the flow of water needs to be controlled by installing a pressure reducing valve. A turbine recovers the lost pressure and turns it into energy.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who officially launched the project, said: “It is fantastic to see two of Scotland’s vast natural resources, water and renewable energy coming together to benefit both the environment and Scottish Water customers.

“It matches the Scottish Government’s ambition to make Scotland a Hydro Nation and ensure the water we have in Scotland delivers the maximum possible benefit to our people,” she added.

The publicly-owned company has 10 hydro schemes in operation, while 23 other sites – either hosting hydro or Difgen technologies – are in development.

CEO of Scottish Water, Douglas Millican, said: “This is an exciting development for Scottish Water. The Difgen turbine at Denny – the first of its kind to be installed in the UK – reduces pressure and harnesses the natural power of water flowing through pipes to produce renewable energy.

“As a significant user of energy, with an abundance of assets such as reservoirs and treatment works, this is an excellent example of Scottish Water supporting the development of a low carbon economy, using our water resources to maximum effect – in the spirit of an ambitious Hydro Nation.

Leigh Stringer

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